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top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

A guide for

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f a road takes too many turns, the best of us get lost. Welcome to Hindustan Times’e-book on Top School Survey 2012, the most credible reference guide on schools. This annual survey, our fourth, done in collaboration with the research agency C fore, is an extensively researched educational product brought out every year that is conducted for Delhi and the National Capital Region with the objective of helping parents negotiate the maze-like, and somewhat confounding, process of choosing, applying and attempting to get their wards admitted to schools in the area. The reports that accompany the Top Ten rankings are published in Hindustan Times. But what is exclusive to the e-book is the ranking of schools vis -vis each of the 14 parameters that we grade schools on. For the first time, we have provided an overall ranking for the region -- one that encompasses schools in all of the Delhi-NCR area: the six zones in Delhi and the adjoining cities of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida. Our Top Schools Survey has also focussed on various issues that affect our schools in the region, be it the new Right to Education law, the plight of government schools or the increasing threat of cyber bullying in schools. That apart, our methodology, modified by our experience of four years, has been further sharpened to give you the best results. Of course, choosing a school for a child is ultimately the decision of parents and guardians and depends on a host of factors. Our aim in this endeavour is to provide you with well-researched qualitative as well as quantitative insights to make that task a bit easier. In case you’ve missed the ongoing survey in Hindustan Times, log on to access the information on the e-book. And, as always, we would encourage you to let us know what you think of it. Your suggestions will help make our annual exercise more meaningful.

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top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

THE MAKING OF GLOBAL STUDENTS Angela Zonunpari ■ angela.zonunpari@hindustantimes.com With changes in Indian education boards and more students applying for colleges outside India, the want for a ‘different’ kind of curriculum is growing. A want that is now being satisfied by the growing number of ‘international schools’. Keeping this in mind, for the first time, the 2012 HT - C fore Top Schools survey has ranked the top international schools in Delhi and the National Captal Region (NCR). Over ten years old, Pathways Aravali, located in Gurgaon, tops the list with highest scores in ‘teacher care and development’, ‘extra-curricular activities’ and ‘innovation in teaching’ among others. Scottish High International School(SHIS), Gurgaon, comes second, topping the ‘social accountability’ category, followed by DPS International, Pushp Vihar, which scored the highest in ‘competence of teachers’, ‘academic rigour’ and ‘value for money’. Why the demand? Sudha Goyal, principal, SHIS explains. With the demographic profile of parents in Gurgaon being mainly professionals working in the private sector or people who have moved back to India, they are “looking for a balance in academics (for their children). They want an international curriculum... rather than rote learning, they want creativity and research,” she said. “The trend of setting up international schools is not a national, but a pan-asian trend,” said Sarvesh Naidu, director, Pathways School, Aravali, underlining this phenomenon. He believes that Indians are becoming more and more aware. “Students are not willing to go for a high pressure exam system. The focus is on application, not simple regurgitation,” he said. These international schools do not follow the

state or national education boards, but have their own international curriculum, which allows students to “mix and match” their subjects in school and decide their specialisation of subjects only later on, while in college. Naidu described traditional curriculums as “one size to fit all”, a philosophy the international schools don’t follow. Sending a child to an international school is not an exclusively metro city trend. “We have parents from Nagpur, Karnal, even small towns in Madhya Pradesh who send their children,” said Naidu. The decision to send her child to an international school came easy for Grace Vargas, whose son is in Class 1 at Pathways (Aravali). She wanted a school that would provide her child with a more international outlook and expose him to a global arena. “The teachers are helpful, they are always there to help with the ‘growing pains’,” said Vargas, an Ecuadorian married to an Indian. “I love how my child is growing…his approach to problems and other things in life are much more open and interesting,” she said. The growth has predominantly been outside Delhi, with DPS International being an exception. When asked why, Naidu said that for schools like theirs — with air-conditioned classrooms, big sport grounds, tennis courts, swimming pools, and hostels among many other facilities — they need space, which Delhi lacks. All these facilities, of course, come at a much higher price. Talking about the future of international schools in India, Naidu said: “Parallel colleges have sprung up, and these are compatible with international curriculum since they do not only look at grades. These colleges have better standards, more land… I see this as a sign that the demand for international schools is only going to go up.”

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top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

MINE V/S YOURS: WHAT MAKES SCHOOL COOL? Shibani Bedi ■ shibani.bedi@hindustantimes.com

Gone are the days when what made one’s school cool or uncool depended on the grades its students scored or the trophies they won. Times, they have changed. Not that emphasis on performance in curricular and extra-curricular activities has dawdled but temples of learning catering to schoolgoers these days are cashing in on more than just quality education to stand out. “Textbooks don’t matter anymore. Encouraging practical, hands-on learning, focus of every child, approachable teachers, emphasis on extra-curriculars and incorporating education in every day life is what I consider the coolest things about my school,” says 15-year-old Mayurath Gupta, a student at Sanskriti School. “And obviously, owning fancy gadgets, being in a band, hanging out with popular kids, great communication skills is what is defines being a cool person for kids my age,” he adds. Agrees Mukund Pandey, a 15-year-old student at Delhi Public School, R K Puram. “In spite of the size of my school and the number of students, special attention is never forsaken. Moreover, there are a lot of activities to choose from. No one gets brandished for being an underperformer. Plus, you are never short of company. We are too many of us,” he says. Seventeen-year-old Praharsh Joharey at The Shri Ram School, Aravali, says,”One of the good things about our school is that activities are centered around Indian culture. Also, students are trusted with a lot of responsibility.” Right from choosing the right board, methods of teaching, student-teacher ratio,

uniforms and even the quality of food in the canteen, schools these days are constantly evolving to suit the needs of students as well as ward off competition from others. “We have adopted Educomp smart classes for innovative teaching. We also use various computer softwares to enhance students’ creativity and imagination,” says US Verma, Principal, Modern DPS Faridabad. Having shifted from CBSE and ICSE boards to IB ( International Baccalaureate), the USP of some city schools is the intellectual, personal and social development of their students. “Rather than rote learning we encourage creativity and research in the curriculum to make kids more confident. We have a 25:1 student-teacher ratio and emphasis is on infrastructure and professional deveopment,” says Sudha Goyal, principal, Scottish High in Gurgaon. “There is a lot of emphasis on overall personality development through extracurriculars. Learning on smartborads is fun as visual effects make learning better and interesting,” says Vatsala Baghai, a class 10 student at Millennium School, Noida. “We have a FIITJEE batch, hence no separate coaching is needed. We have workshops for IELTS, TOEFL,” says class 12 student Ishita Jauhar, Mayoor School, Noida. Though most schools still encourage a uniform style of dressing, there are some which don’t mind going against the diktat. Some students admit being comfortable with following a dress code, but there are some who consider something a little more informal to be ‘cool’. “In winters, instead of blazers, we have sweatshirts,” says Ankita Banerjee of The Shri Ram School, Aravali.

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top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

TOP INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

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The 2012 Hindustan Times-C fore Top Schools Survey gave scores to each school across 14 different parameters, from academic rigour to sports. Here is a list of top International Schools

PATHWAYS SCHOOL, ARAVALI

The school has an Olympic-sized football field, a 400-meter track and a 25-meter pool. It uses technology in education with universal radio networking, interactive whiteboards & projection screens. Topped in ‘teacher care and development’, ‘individual attention to students’, ‘innovative teaching’ etc. www.pathways.in

+911244513000

R2,24,000 per annum

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SCOTTISH HIGH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, GURGAON

Spread over 5 acres, the eco-friendly, wi-fi campus is centrally air conditioned. It has excellent infrastructure. Every department is linked through a campus wide network making it an e-campus. It has the best ‘social accountability’ score and second highest in ‘value for money’ and ‘academic rigour’. www.scottishigh.com

0124-4112781-90

R96,000 per annum

top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

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DPS INTERNATIONAL, PUSHP VIHAR

DPS has a well-equipped language lab for teaching English, French, German, Spanish and other foreign languages. The school also boasts of an auditorium with a seating capacity of 500. Topped ‘value for money’ and ‘competence of teachers’, second highest in ‘parental participation’. www.dpsi.ac.in

011-29564889

R 2,37,600 per annum

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GD GOENKA WORLD SCHOOL, SOHNA

Spread over a mammoth 60 acres, the school boasts of 11 playgrounds, a well-staffed infirmary,a host of sports facilities, gym, salon, hostels, wellequipped labs and a 17-acre golf course. Best ‘infrastructure and facilities’ and ‘safety and hygiene’ scores; second in ‘ECA’ and ‘sports’. www.goenkaglobal.com

0124-3315900

R2,26,000 per annum

top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

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PATHWAYS SCHOOL, GURGAON

The school is located on a 10 acre site. The curriculum includes programmes offered both by International Baccalaureate Organisation of Geneva and the IGCSE of Cambridge University. Best in ‘parental participation’, second best ‘value system/integration’, ‘life skills education’ scores. www.pathways.in

0124-4872000

R2,12,000 per annum

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PATHWAYS SCHOOL, NOIDA

The school was the first IB school in Uttar Pradesh. The Design & Technology laboratory here is equipped with up-to-date equipments enabling students to pursue individual projects. Done well in ‘innovative teaching’, ‘life skills education’ and ‘parental participation’ categories. www.pathways.in

0120-4617000

R2,12,000 per annum

top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

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EXCELSIOR AMERICAN SCHOOL, GURGAON

This school offers horse riding coaching, tennis, and also has a ballet and soccer academy. There are 18 specialised clubs - on quizzing, math, robotics, taekwondo, among others. The schools does well on the ‘sports’, ‘extra-curricular activities’ and ‘competence of teachers’. www.excelsioreducation.org

0124-4049342

R2, 6,8847 per annum

hindustantimes INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

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VIDYA SANSKAR INTL SCHOOL, FARIDABAD

The school’s campus in 25 acres. With a class size of 24, each student gets personalized attention. The schools uses e-classrooms, electronic boards and audio-visual aid to teach their students. Does well on ‘academic rigour’, ‘infrastructure and facilities’ and ‘value system/integration’. www.vidyasanskar.com

0129-2201095

R1,50,000 per annum

top schools HINDUSTAN TIMES-C FORE SURVEY 2012

hindustantimes INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

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LANCERS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, GURGAON

The facilities are spread over a 5.4-acre fully wi-fi campus, with 100% power backup and automatic light and temperature control. The school has wellequipped labs and an auditorium that seats 700. Does well on ‘competence of teachers’, ‘infrastructure and facilities’ and ‘parental participation’. www.lis.ac.in

0124-4171900

R2,08,200 per annum

METHODOLOGY We have defined International Schools as those schools which offer international programmes, that is, curriculum of international boards like IBO, Geneva, CIE and Edexcel UK and The College Board, USA from at least class 8 onwards. In case a school is also offering Indian curriculum , at least 30 % of students should be taking the offshore board examination. Embassy schools have not been included since they cater to expats and not to Indian citizens. The ranking of schools is based on perceptual survey of 1126 teachers and parents belonging to SEC A segment in Delhi and the NCR. Objective data was also collected from schools using a structured questionnaire. The final ranking was arrived at by combining perceptual and objective data scores.


Top International Schools