Setting benchmarks for schools, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will for the first time give accreditation to
institutions affiliated to it on the basis of quality of education. The country's premier school examination board has decided to launch the initiative, the first by any board in the country, before commencement of the next academic session. 'The governing body has decided to start accreditation of the schools for the first time from this year. The purpose is to set benchmark for quality assurance among the schools in the country, said the CBSE chairman Vineeth Joshi.
A committee has been set up by the CBSE to frame guidelines for assessment and accreditation. The committee will also suggest detailed modalities on formation of separate committees for the purpose of accreditation. 'The basic focus of the assessment would be finding out the quality of education, teacher-pupil ratio, mode of teaching, students' participation in the teaching-learning process and library among other things,' said Joshi. The infrastructure facilities in the schools will be part of assessment and accreditation procedure, he said. The accredited schools will be provided grades which will indicate their standing with respect to quality. The CBSE will also launch a sensitisation drive during which it will reach out to the schools and make them aware about the benefits of being accredited. The drive will cover about 10,000 schools in the country, he said. The CBSE's effort assumes significance in view of quality becoming top priority in education with the entry of foreign players in this sector. A number of international schools have come up in the country which are affiliated to foreign boards like IB and Cambridge Systems. 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.