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K-12 SPEAK

Accreditation

of Schools by EQFI W

hile literacy has always been the key word in the educational scenario of post independent India, the time has now come to look at another dimension of education and that is Quality Standards and the process of Quality Assurance and Accreditation. It is a well known fact that providing quality education to our students has always been at top of the agenda for Indian schools. Accreditation by definition is an affirmation of `Quality’. It is the means of demonstrating confidence in the schools’ purposes, performances, and human, financial, and other resources. The goals are effectiveness, improvement and quality assurance. However, this will not involve ranking schools, but rather, will establish a level of acceptable quality for all accredited schools. Accreditation of schools will indicate that the school has conducted a self-evaluation of all of its programmes and provided the desired feedback to evaluate the school in terms of its own stated educational goals and the Standards for Accreditation. It will ensure that the school has met prescribed qualitative standards which have been pre-set. Sustainability and credibility of schools and eventually the school education system

would depend on good quality assurance mechanisms, which are responsive to the needs of society and the national economy. Keeping in mind the concern for quality, the Educational Quality Foundation of India (EQFI) has taken the initiative to devise standards for school accreditation under the nomenclature “Accreditation Standards for Quality Assurance in School Education.’ The new initiatives announced under the first 100 days programme by Kapil Sibal, Minister, Human Resources Development, immediately after joining the Ministry paved the path to explore possibilities of setting up an independent, accreditation body in India in the area of school education. At present, accreditation and assessment are done in colleges and universities. The government has

decided to make accreditation and assessment mandatory requirements for making them eligible for getting grants. So far the primary and secondary education institutes in India have strived to stick to their own standards. Private schools and government-aided schools have set forth their own standards regarding school governance and therefore have remained away from a universal accreditation system. The country’s premier school examination board, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has recently decided to set benchmarks for schools on the basis of quality of education, the first by any board in the country, during the current academic session. The board is extending all assistance to frame guidelines for assessment and accreditation, the basic focus of which is to

find out the quality of education, teacher-pupil ratio, mode of teaching, students’ participation in the teaching-learning process, infrastructure facilities and library among other things. The board also suggests detailed modalities for the purpose of accreditation, following which process the accredited schools will be provided a status that will indicate their standing with respect to quality. Education Quality Foundation of India (EQFI), established in 2007, is a not-forprofit organisation working to develop quality benchmarks in schools both in the government and private domains. It was set up with the belief that improving quality standards in education can significantly improve learning experiences and enhance lives. EQFI has developed a frame work to enhance quality in education by creating parameters for quality assessment and accreditation of schools. These parameters help provide assurance to the public, in particular to prospective learners, that an institution has been found to meet the expected level of requirements as per criteria prescribed. The framework also helps the institution for critical self-analysis and review leading to qualitative improvement in its operation and services. \\ digitalLEARNING / July 2011

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digitalLEARNING-July-2011-[47]-Accreditation of school by EFQI  

AccreditAtion 47 K-12 SPEAK digitalLEARNING / July 2011

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