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Land and Infrastructure needed for CBSE affiliation


Posted on April 25, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Land required for starting a CBSE school or for securing CBSE affiliation depends upon factors including the type of school i.e. primary, secondary, senior secondary; location of the school within the country. In case of Secondary schools, the requirement of land also depends upon the number of streams (science, commerce, humanities, vocational) the school is planning to run. We have detailed the specifications with regard to the minimum land area and infrastructure as given in the CBSE bye-laws—

Generally speaking, the land area needed for a starting a CBSE affiliated school is 1.5 acre. Specific land requirements are listed as under-

  1. For schools in Delhi, capital cities, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon of National Capital Region as well as in Panchkula (Haryana) and Mohali (Old SAS Nagar-Punjab) satellite cities of Chandigarh within the limits of their respective Municipal Corporation/ Development Authority has been fixed as 1 acre.
  2. For schools in Hilly areas, cities with population more than 15 lakhs, North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir the area of land required is 1 acre.
  3. In any of the four metropolitan cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and within the state of Arunachal Pradesh—
  • Minimum land area required for pre-primary to higher secondary (class XII) running science, commerce and humanities stream is 3200 square meter
  • If the pre-primary to class XII School is running only 2 of these streams the area required is 2400 square meter
  • For Preprimary to secondary (Class X) the land area required is 1600 square meter
  1. For tier 1 cities viz. Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune–
  • Minimum land area required for pre-primary to higher secondary (class XII) running science, commerce and humanities stream is 4000 square meter
  • If the pre-primary to class XII School is running only 2 of these streams the area required is 3000 square meter
  • For Preprimary to secondary (Class X) the land area required is 2000 square meter

 

The school building and infrastructure

The dimensions of the classrooms as prescribed by the CBSE are minimum 8 m x 6 m. Well-equipped Laboratories with minimum dimensions of 9 m x 6 m. The prescribed dimensions for the Library are 14 m x 8 m

The specifications of CBSE with respect to the classroom space mandate 1 sqm space per student. The strength of any given section of any given class must not exceed 40 students. The playground must be big enough to accommodate a 200 m track and there must be space for a volleyball court and outdoor sports like Kho- Kho and Kabbadi.

The schools that are applying for up gradation of affiliation or switch over must understand the stipulations of CBSE regarding the strength of the school and corresponding classroom area.  For instance, a school from pre-primary to class XII wants to accommodate 1000-1250 students it would need 1000 sq meter of minimum classroom area and then commensurate playground and facilities. It will amount to around 1 acre. As the number of students increases the sections in a class will have to be increased given the maximum strength norms. From preprimary to class X maximum sections for each class can be 3 and for XI and XII it can be 2 each.

Every school should have at least one adequately equipped computer lab with a minimum of 10 computers or computer student ratio of 1:20 and proper software. Wherever such facility is available, every school should have the facility of Broad Band Connectivity.

It is to be noted that the school land should be contiguous i.e. it should be at one place. The land must be secured with a pucca boundary wall.

The land and school infrastructure specifications of the board must be adhered to for securing affiliation and eventual up gradation. You can easily find land required for CBSE school on popular web portal schoolprop.com

For assistance on any aspect of starting a CBSE school or obtaining CBSE affiliation, up gradation or CBSE switch over of an existing school, contact us.

Documents Needed While Applying for CBSE affiliation


Posted on April 25, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Following documents are required to be uploaded while making an application for CBSE affiliation online —

  1. No Objection Certificate stating that State/UT Government has no objection with regard to CBSE affiliation of the school. The NOC will be considered valid until it is affirmatively withdrawn by the issuing authority, therefore the school promoters need not worry if the NOC is past its indicated period. The name and address of the school in this certificate should be same as mentioned by the school in the application.
  2. Formal prior Recognition letter issued by the education department of the state or the union territory declaring the affiliation of the school with the state board. If the school is applying for Middle Class Approval, recognition letter for classes I to V will be required. In case the school is applying for provisional CBSE affiliation for secondary level (class IX and X), it will need to submit the recognition letter for the class I to VIII.
  3. The mode of uploading must be a scanned single pdf file in case of both the NOC and Recognition letter
  4. Copy of Registration letter of the Trust/Society Section 8 Company. The name and address of the Society/Trust/Company in this certificate should be same as mentioned by the school in the application form.
  5. Land Certificate from the concerned authority
  6. Affidavits announcing the following (find sample affidavit at http://cbseaff.nic.in/cbse_aff/welcome.aspx)
    1. Non-Proprietary Character of society from First Class Magistrate.
    2. No relation amongst the School Managing Committee members.
    3. That without Affiliation school will not start class 9th/11th
    4. That society/school is not part of any franchise arrangement as per clause 19.1(i) (ii) and clause 7.2 Affiliation bye-laws of the Board
  7. Infrastructure detail photographs Front view, back view, library, all labs, top view from the roof of the school including a playground and all 4 sides of boundary wall in a single PDF file.
  8. Fire safety certificate
  9. Health & Sanitation certificate.
  10. Safe drinking water certificate
  11. Building Safety Certificate.
  12. Staff EPF deduction certificate Latest EPF challan in the name of the school
  13. Reserve funds proof (Only in case of up gradation).
  14. Balance sheet/Financial status certified by CA for last 3 years
  15. Salary paid through ECS/Cheque (Certificate issued by the associated bank).

 

In case of switch over from state board to CBSE at secondary or higher secondary level

  1. Affidavit for the closure of classes in a phased manner along with 2. 3 years State board result in gazette issued by the state board
  2. Land registration and/or lease documents

 

Important details related to the aforementioned documents

Land Documents: The documents related to the school land that the school must produce before the board at the time of application for affiliation, inspection and thereafter, include–

  • Legible copies of the registered sale deed, lease deed or the gift deed through which the ownership of land has accrued in the name of the school or the Society/Trust/Company running the school. Such land has to be in the name of the school or the society running the school. If the land is leased, the period of the lease must not be less than 30 years.
  • Land certificate–The school must acquire the original Land Certificate issued by the concerned District magistrate/Registering/Revenue authorities the format for which is given as Appendix-VI of Affiliation bye-laws.

Essential Safety certificates: The certificates among those aforementioned that pertain to the safety of the building and other amenities for children will be considered valid for 1 year after the date of issuance, this in case when the certificate does not have a specified date.

  • It must be noted by the school promoters that the Building safety certificate must have been issued by a Government Authority and not from private engineers. Safety certificate issued by empaneled engineers will only be admissible if they have been authorized by the state government to issue “Building and Structural Safety Certificate”.  Fire Safety certificate must be issued by Fire Department and Safe drinking water and Health & Hygiene certificate must also be issued by Govt. authority.

Balance Sheet: School’s account should be separate from that of the Society/Trust/Company to which the school is associated. Complete Balance Sheet for the last three years of school operations audited by CA should be in place for review.

Franchisee schools: The CBSE bye-laws clearly mandate that the school should not be paying any fee or royalty to any other organization or institution for the use of name, logo or motto. An affidavit stating the above is also required to be submitted.

All the documents that are to be uploaded at the time of application must be either in English or Hindi. If the document is translated from vernacular to English or Hindi, an affidavit to the effect that the translation is exact, free from omissions or commissions must be given by the Manager appointed by the School Management Committee along with the name designation and stamp/seal of the issuing authority. The proformas, certificates are given in the respective appendices of the affiliation bye laws of the board. It has to be ensured before uploading that the size of any file should not exceed the given limit.

For assistance on any aspect of starting a CBSE school or obtaining CBSE affiliation, up gradation or CBSE switch over of an existing school, contact us

Structuring Preschool Curriculum – Waldorf and Pikler Preschool Education


Posted on April 5, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

There has been considerable research and studies done on the pedagogical methods and early education but few have been as successful and applied as the Waldorf and Pikler approaches when it comes to preschools.

The Waldorf Education that is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner has been developed in early 20th century garnered considerable popularity in the 20th as well as the 21st century. With the emergence of preschools in India and, increased importance given to preschool education for early childhood development, Waldorf education has seen reinterpretations and wide span of application. It has been characterized as the philosophy behind the independent school movement, most successful in the world.

The Waldorf education centers itself on developmental stages that correspond to early years of human life. In the preschools, the Waldorf method is used along with other popular methods such as Montessori Method. The method emphasizes the holistic development of children and is not limited to preschools. However, its relevance for preschools and elementary schools is relatively high as the schooling post early years tends to become conventional curriculum based.

It will not amount to discounting the mainstream relevance of Waldorf education system if we classify it as an alternative preschool education system as its importance in early childhood development is particularly significant. The method is dynamically child-centered and emphasizes on the sensory-motor development of the child and reinforces the importance of enhanced interaction with the environment.

The preschools have spawned across the country and a suitable theorized pattern for engaging with the child in those early years before the teaching-learning phase of education begins is strongly advised. If a well-researched and organized way of conducting the preschools is not popularized the preschools tend to become disorganized and random totally dependent on the individuals’ skills of interacting with the child. The Waldorf method provides much-needed structure for the preschool curriculum.  It helps the teachers to use the time to promote an environment which does not impede the natural development by overemphasizing the need for “order” within the preschool. The play spaces are designed more scientifically and provide enough opportunities to the child to learn to integrate with the environment and to manipulate it besides developing communication and early social skills. It establishes the ground for meaningful interaction with the children and can also instruct teachers and parents on how to foster spaces for children to help them develop an interest in learning which comes as an immense help in elementary education stages.

Originally meant and widely applied by day care institutions, Dr. Emmi Pikler’s method of child pedagogy is the most recognized education method for toddlers. Dr. Pikler was a Hungarian pediatrician who, drawing on her experience, developed a set of principles that inform parenting for ideal development of children.  The Pikler methods have several distinctions to its credit.  Pikler methods of engaging with infants have been recognized by the World Health Organization. The objective of Pikler methods is to ensure regard for the children that go beyond mentoring. It emphasizes on a developmental partnership between children, parents and preschool teachers.

The Pikler method combined with the Waldorf education philosophy produces an efficient preschool curriculum. It brings together the well-being of the child with early intellectual and physical development. The preschools would fare more organized and dependable if these methods are relied upon. Adept preschool consultants can be approached for designing a structured preschool curriculum based on Waldorf and Pikler child development methodologies.

How to Start an IB School Anywhere In India?


Posted on March 26, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

For Starting an International Baccalaureate® (IB) school in India the school has to launch any of the four IB educational programs by an established school. The school must have the necessary permissions to start a school in the respective state, we talked about the procedure to open a school in our previous article How to Start a New School In India?

The IB is an International education foundation whose programs enjoy global recognition. To run any of the offered programmes, and becoming an IB school in the process, the school has to be authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization. As of now, in India, out of four IB programmes there are 108 diploma programs, 63 Primary Year Program and 21 Middle Year Program subscriber schools and the count is consistently growing. There is no Career Related Programme being run in India presently. Figures reflect that the IB diploma certificate is the most popular programme in India. Some schools running other educational board programmes such as ICSE and CBSE opt for the Diploma Programme instead of these School Certificate exams.

Globally, as of February 2018, there are 4786 schools in different countries providing around 6311 IB educational programmes. The IB programmes are well received and have been appreciated by Harvard educational psychologist Dr. Howard Gardner well known for his theory of Multiple Intelligences.

The IB professes its aim of creating learners with capabilities of global relevance in all walks of life besides consummate personalities.

The school can opt for any of the IB programmes including Primary Year Programme (PYP), Middle Year Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and Career Related Programme (CRP). The DP corresponds to the senior secondary level exams for students 16 to 19 year old. In case a school chooses the DP affiliation it must commit to the IB’s teacher development programme and institute a coordinator’s office to create an uninterrupted communication channel with IB and if a school chooses to implement MYP programme and later on decides to affiliate to DP it must ensure that the there is no time gap i.e. a student passing from the MYP does not have to wait for IB DP Programme to start.

The entire affiliation process takes about 2 to 3 years according to the IB’s own records.

The initial step of IB affiliation process has been termed Global Authorization Process. These include furnishing school details through a School Information Form which must follow a feasibility study. To this end, school promoters must undertake an introspective study to analyze the level of adaptability of the school to the IB Programme. For the feasibility analysis, it is advisable to rope in people from academia, finance, and school promoters. This also involves the study of congruity between the IB vision and school’s own philosophy. It is recommended by the foundation that the school leadership participates in category 1 workshops for getting acquainted with the authorization process of IB.

There is a provision of professional development workshops conducted by IB which school promoters can participate in to advance with the vision of joining IB school’s community.  These workshops ease the process of analysis of the possible areas of school improvement and up gradation besides enhancing clarity regarding the IB Programme structure.

The school promoters can opt for obtaining a Diploma Programme starter pack for a fee and additional documents to comprehend programme standards and practices and specific programme requirements especially human, and financial resources and logistical requirements for meeting IB standards. And the school promoters must come up with a tentative timeline after definitively deciding to start an IB Programme in the school.

A feasible timeline has been presented by the IB. Given the school is in a sustainable financial situation it moves on with the decision of getting authorization to run the IB Programme in coherence with this timeline. The detailed 3 Year authorization timeline is available on IB official website.

The specific phases of affiliation process include ‘consideration’ by the school promoters, ‘request of candidacy’, ‘candidate phase’,’ request for authorization’ and ‘decision on authorization’

1. Consideration by the school promoters

This step involves

  • Participation in IB workshops by the school promoters
  • Appointing a prospective coordinator
  • Mobilization of support from the community and identify the areas of school improvement in line with IB’s standards
  • Aligning school’s existing educational ecosystem with IB’s Programme.

For details refer Guide to School Authorization, Programme Standards & Practices and Requirements for Candidacy

2. Request for candidacy and decision on candidacy

This step involves the review of

  • The outcome of the assessment of comparative study of the existing school Programme and the IB’s standards
  • The planning of the process of adaptation to IB’s programme
  • Documentation of the requirements of candidacy which includes the school’s legal status and structure, congruity with IB Programme, up gradation of skills of professionals, the budget of programme implementation etc.

A sample of Application for Candidacy can be downloaded from IB official website.

3. Candidate Phase

The measures to acquire authorization for the IB Programme implementation are taken by the school in the candidate phase, these include—

  • Trial authorization for Primary Year Programme, Middle Year Programme, if the school is opting for any of those, for 1 academic year minimum.
  • Attending of the IB professional development activities by the appointed programme coordinator and staff members.
  • Publicity of the candidate status by the school. The text of the marketing material can be downloaded from IB official website.
  • Receiving support from the regional IB office and IB Educator Network (IBEN).

Consultation remains the byword of the candidate phase. Customized consultation is provided to every school for successful IB  Programme implementation year after year throughout the authorization process which culminates with the on-site visit.

The definitive reference documents that guide the school starting an IB Programme include Guide to school authorization, Programme standards and practices, Guidelines for consultants, and Rules for candidate Schools.  All of these documents can be downloaded from resource and document library

4. Request for Authorization

The assessment must be made after completion of all the preceding stages and an application for authorization must be made for moving on to become an IB global school. Depending on the programme the application will be either for Trial Implementation. Application of Authorization can be downloaded from the Resource and Document Library. The application document is designed to capture the understanding that the school promoters have acquired regarding the IB Programme they are planning to implement and the level of preparedness of the school for running that programme.

Subsequent to the application comes a feedback from the IB which must be carefully studied, and recommendations made must be implemented. It may direct the school to furnish additional details and information which must be duly provided for the application for authorization to be considered complete.

The application is followed by a Verification Visit by the representative members of the IBEN. The verification of the state of the school and its readiness for the programme implementation is conducted by these on-site inspectors from IBEN.

5. Decision on Authorization

This constitutes the final phase of the authorization process for becoming an IB school. The decision to authorize a school to run an IB Programme is taken based on the verification report and the application of authorization made by the school.

In the event of any deficiency, the same is pointed out to the school authorities. These must be remedied within a given time frame for the authorization to come through.

In case the school is found fully prepared to run the IB Programme it has applied for the approval is given by the Director General to the school for running the corresponding IB programme.

After the authorization is granted the school would be allowed to market itself as an IB school running an IB Programme. The ways to market the school should be studied by the school authorities. The directions to market the school online are listed in the digital tool kit.

Applicable fee for IB candidate school can be obtained from Fees & Services section on IB official website.

The appeal of internationally recognized certification exams is growing in the global economy and so are rewards of internationally recognized certificates. It must be underscored that for becoming one of the schools providing this educational advantage what comes crucial is the understanding IB’s expectations from IB World Schools and analyzing if the programme is sustainable for the school. All preparations detailed above must be made in order to become an International Baccalaureate® school and make a difference in the educational scenario of India.


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How to Start School and get IGCSE affiliation?


Posted on February 24, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

To become an IGCSE school in India, a school has to first establish itself conventionally. It has to be run by a Trust /Society / Section 8 company. Such Trust/Society/Company has to be a non-proprietary organization. There must be a School Managing Committee set up by the Trust/Society. For details visit our previous blog post How to Start a Private School in India? The school must have state board’s recognition and should obtain a No Objection Certificate stating that the state has no objection to its affiliation with IGCSE. A school affiliated to any other educational board such as CBSE or ICSE can make a transition to IGCSE provided it meets the standards of the International education board that IGCSE is.  IGCSE is the only educational board that is sponsored by a university namely the University of Cambridge. Currently, there are around 10,000 Cambridge schools across 160 countries.

Association of Indian Universities has acknowledged the equivalency of the IGCSE certificates with the school certificates provided by the other boards including CBSE, ICSE and state boards. This in addition to the international recognition by universities and employers of the IGCSE certification has shot up its appeal.

International recognition implies that the student becomes eligible to apply for university education in various arenas in most sought universities across the globe after passing the school. All universities in UK, major universities in the USA , Canada, Australia, Netherlands, etc recognize the IGCSE certificates at par with their own school certificates. The commitment of convincing the universities and creating opportunities for its subscriber school students lies with Cambridge itself which takes measures by reinventing curricula and introducing assignments and assessments. If the school can adapt to a dynamic learning of that level it can aspire for IGCSE affiliation.

For IGCSE recognition the school has to fulfill a set of criteria established by the organization. The criteria pertains to the fitness of the institution in running international curriculum and creating a ground for rigorous assessment of the knowledge levels of the students which provides them with the certification progressively.

The process of for affiliation or recognition with IGCSE starts with an expression of interest followed by a formal application. The application is followed by an assistance visit by the local representative of the organization who assists in the completion of the application and furnishes additional information. After the application comes the visit from the representatives of the approval board. The judgment of the board decides if the school gets the approval to run IGSCE curriculum.

This algorithm of affiliation must not mislead the school promoters. We advise the school promoters to be vary of the oversimplified versions detailed in certain web posts. Here we aim to give a comprehensive picture of the expectations of the international education board. We will elaborate on the features of the organization, the details and specific links to refer and examine your school’s fitness for IGCSE recognition.

As stated above you have to draft an expression of interest, thereafter you have to fill the application form for recognition. Prior to applying you must read through the details provided on Cambridge International Official Website to understand the requirements and assess your ability to fulfill them besides knowing the specifics of the procedure. It is important to choose the program you want to offer from the entire set of programs which IGCSE offers and prepare a draft of the application fee accordingly. For specific IGCSE fee for the program the school has to furnish details and submit an enquiry form available at the link https://help.cambridgeinternational.org/hc/en-gb/requests/new?ticket_form_id=53542 and the information will be provided. There are call centers to assist the school promoters in getting IGCSE affiliation too.

In order to join the elite group of Cambridge schools, it is essential to understand the IGCSE’s fundamentals, their organization, curricular expectations and standards.

IGCSE is a non-profit organization run by a dedicated department of University of Cambridge, UK. Cambridge boasts of 10 lacs learners in 10000 schools across 160 countries. These are impressive figures indeed but so are their expectations from the schools who want to join the global community the preceding schools have created.

The IGCSE gives freedom to frame the curriculum to the schools provided that the curriculum thus designed meets the board’s expectations of the learning outcomes.  The board conducts examinations for assessment and grant of certificates namely O level, A & AS levels which correspond to the class 10th and 12th board certificate exams respectively.

There are keystones of the entire structure of IGCSE which include International Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, Assessment, International Recognition and Global Community.

While we explain all of these so that the school promoters can actively infer the expectations of the board from the schools seeking affiliation. More details are available in IGCSE overview brochure.

The International Curriculum

The IGCSE curriculum has been developed for students of age five through age 19. There are subsets i.e. the primary, middle school, secondary. Cambridge O level (14 -16 years) corresponds to High School and Cambridge A and AS level (16- 19 years) corresponds to Intermediate grades.

The international curriculum which can be designed by individual schools keeping in view the demands of the Cambridge learning standards. It has to be intensive and coherent with the scope of broad cognitive application.

There are curricula for children of 5 to 19 years. Starting from the primary Cambridge through Cambridge Lower Secondary to Upper Secondary and Cambridge advance. The school can choose the span of Cambridge curriculum it wants to run. It can start with a stage and can gradually add stages going finally to certification stage. The exceptional feature is that the Information and Communication Technology is introduced in Cambridge primary (5-11 years) itself. For details visit http://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-primary/cambridge-ict-starters/

The IGCSE professes that its curricula aim at “deep subject knowledge, independent research, work across disciplines keeping learning enjoyable and rewarding, smooth progression from stage to other in a spiral process”. The freedom to design the curriculum is granted keeping in view the diverse needs of culture and national contexts.

‘Cambridge Pathway’ from primary to Cambridge senior secondary and further to Cambridge Advanced cover English, Mathematics, Science, ICT and Global Perspectives in primary and secondary stages from which students advance to Cambridge IGCSE which offers from over 70 subjects, Cambridge O Level  40 subjects, Cambridge ICE certificate in upper secondary(O level and ICE). Cambridge Advanced (AS and A level)

It is a multilingual curriculum and places premium on language acquisition both as a subject and medium of instruction. They emphasize on ‘bilingual education’. This implies that a second language can be used as a medium of instruction. In some countries, certain subjects are taught in their own language, called ‘first language’ besides English. In India however, English is used in the majority of the IGCSE schools as the first language. An additional foreign language is also taught. But if the school chooses it can use English as a ‘second language’ and thus can teach certain subjects in any other language suitable for its students. There are options of a foreign language as well, regional languages can be opted in the curriculum as per the choice of the school. Indian languages have to be taught to maintain relevance for the home country. The practice of bilingual education is in keeping with concepts like Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).

 

Teaching & Learning

Next comes the expectations regarding teachers in terms of qualifications and attitude. Adaptability is the byword for efficient teachers as far as the Cambridge curricular expectations are concerned. Knowledge of the subject and proficiency in engaging the students with excellent language skills cannot be exaggerated. There are a lot of training programmes that are conducted for the teacher by IGCSE. Cambridge School Conferences are held for teachers to learn about leading international pedagogical practices. School teachers and leaders can avail Professional Development Qualification Programmes that are provided by a network of professional development centers in several regions to make them accessible to teachers in different locations.

Teachers for an educational enterprise like an international curriculum running school must be chosen with skill set precision and after substantial deliberation. Teacher recruitment drive can be made brief by assistance from talent pool like educatorOne.com.

 

Assessment

Assessment pattern includes ‘Summative’ and ‘assessment of learning’. These include ‘end of year exams’ and ‘public exams’. Schools have to follow a ‘code of practice’ for exams. The assessment is central to the entire program. The composite name for Cambridge certificate was Cambridge International Examination which has recently been changed to Cambridge Assessment International Education. IGCSE clearly states that providing world-class examinations is at the core of their functions. Subject-specific knowledge is important, but it has also named skills such as ‘knowledge application’, critical thinking and research as being key to successful progression across all Cambridge programmes.

It is also stated that no student shall be detained in any class till Class VIII. Though the student is promoted he/ she will only be assessed in a subject after clearing the assessment of the previous grade. This ensures that the acquisition of basics of a subject is not compromised.

The schools who aspire to earn their students A and AS level certificates that correspond to class XI and XII respectively, have to prepare the students for primary and middle-level stages by introducing the Cambridge curriculum.

One interesting feature is that the assessment aims at involving students proactively. They learn from their mistakes in such a process.

For details visit http://www.cambridgeinternational.org/images/416992-code-of-practice.pdf

 

Get ready to be a part of the Global Community

As pointed earlier, the Cambridge has maintained a network of 10,000 schools across 160 countries. This amounts to an international community with the capacity to empower anyone who lags behind. At the same time, it obliges an institution to catch up with the global standards.

A ready support system for the new schools is available through the network of schools. Teacher training and other requirements can be shared with the Cambridge in unison. These are outstanding benefits of being a part of the global community dedicated to an evolved pedagogical program and comes as an exceptional advantage to new entrants into the IGCSE.

Moreover, there is a Cambridge Global Perspectives community which is an online community where the member schools can connect with educators and students from different nations to advance their approaches towards meeting the Cambridge program standards.

In conclusion, it can be stated that IGCSE will assess if the school’s education ecosystem is adaptable to the global perspective that IGCSE introduces with its international pedagogical programme before granting affiliation.

If a thorough study of the documents whose links have been provided above is to be done and assessment of the school’s capacity is made, particularly of the ability of the school system to prepare the students for the certification exams then the move towards IGCSE will turn out be a success story.


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What are Montessori Schools?


Posted on January 30, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Montessori education method places regard towards the child’s individuality at its center and promotes the independence of the child. Montessori schools are numerous as “Montessori” is not a registered trademark and it is possible to set up a school and call it Montessori school even if it doesn’t have any Montessori trained teachers or any piece of Montessori material as part of the curriculum. However, it is advisable to incorporate the theme of Montessori educational philosophy in the preschool curriculum as it is not complicated to do so. In a real Montessori school that is set up on the lines of thoughts of Dr. Maria Montessori, a dominant Italian educational theorist of 20th century, whose stay in India had spawned a lot of Montessori schools in India besides Europe. In Montessori Schools, one will find pupils with independent spirit who are encouraged not only to do things for themselves but also to perceive themselves as individuals as well as important part of the group. The Montessori approach is based on the natural laws of human development and therefore it stands apart among educational methodologies.

The emphasis is placed by Dr. Maria Montessori, founder and developer of the Montessori Method of education, on giving substantial learning space to the children in the classroom so that they can learn to use things around them effectively ,and learn in the process ,by manipulating the environment. The method had been developed over many years of observation and experimentation by Dr. Montessori with her son Mario, which led to the development of an entire range of Montessori materials that are in their original and evolved use. Association of Montessori Internationale (AMI) was founded by her in 1929. For more details visit www.montessori-ami.org

The five traditional Montessori areas of education are:

  1. Practical Life Exercises
  2. Sensorial
  3. Montessori
  4. Mathematics
  5. Cultural Subjects

We strongly recommend the use of the materials (download Montessori material reference list) that are manufactured according to the blue-prints formulated by Dr. Maria Montessori. Montessori Material is manufactured by several companies  like Kidken Montessori, Vardhaman IQ Toys, Khazana Toys (Skillofun), Little Genius, Strawberry stop, Maskeen, Alpaks, etc. You can buy Montessori material on https://www.schoolsupermart.com, an online marketplace for K12 school supplies and materials.

Practical Life Exercises

The Exercises of Practical Life, which are the foundation of a Montessori environment, provide a coherent and wholesome range of activities that will allow a child to develop and control coordination of movement, awareness of his/her environment, good work habits, responsibility, concentration, attention, independence, order and positive self-image which can be attained by spontaneous and purposeful work.

Sensorial Training

The primary focus of sensorial exercises is to further refine his/her senses of touch, smell, sight, taste and hearing.  The materials used in the sensorial exercises will be unlike anything else that a child has encountered in the way of playthings. A child will be able to perceive sizes, shapes, colors, sounds, textures, odors, etc. The sensorial materials lay a solid foundation for Mathematics, Geometry, Geography, Botany, Art and Music.

Montessori Language

A multi-sensory approach that combines phonics, stories and language experiences to bring meaning to the learning of reading and writing. In the system, the child does not learn by heart, but utilizes all his/her senses to help him/her read and write with proper understanding. Discovery becomes interesting, fun and creative through activities in the Pink, Blue and Green Montessori Language Series.

Montessori Mathematics

An activity based Program that allows the child to have hands-on experience in learning mathematical concepts. Montessori arithmetic is taught through the manipulation of concrete objects. The child will be taught addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, reading of clock, the decimal system, number bonds, length, weight, calendar, capacity, graph, money and problem solving.

Cultural Subjects

The Montessori cultural subjects cover:

  • Nature Study – includes the study of living and non-living things. Children will have the opportunity to explore & understand their environment.
  • Botany and Zoology – Children are exposed to the study of plants and animals. They will be taught to classify impressions into clear and simple categories.
  • Geography – To launch the child’s exploration of the world’s physical environment, children are introduced to various continents, countries, states, land & water form and the solar system.
  • History – Through creative activities such as modelling, painting and collage, children are taught to understand the distinction between past and present and how past events have led to the present situation.

 

 

How to Start an ICSE Affiliated School in India?


Posted on January 22, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Starting an ICSE school in India implies getting a school affiliated to the Central Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) or the ICSE board. To get affiliated with the council a school in India must be operational and must have the state board recognition. Opening a school with a vision towards CISCE affiliation must keep medium of instruction as English exclusively. Every private school in India must be run by a Trust/ Society/ Section 25(1) company. Such Trust or Society must be non- proprietary and it must own or hold on lease the land for the school. There also must be a memorandum of association between the school and the Trust/Society which sets up a School Governing Body or School Management Committee.

School promoters who decide to venture into education sector and plan to open a new school know that successful start of a new school depends on several factors. For detailed directions on the school set up process visit our previous post  How to start a New School in India?

It is important to review why ICSE is emerging as the board of choice for affiliation among school promoters in India.  In the second decade of 21stcentury when we have started to redefine scholastic merit in international terms the school education boards with some global orientation are finding renewed relevance. Now there is a marked increase in the popularity of curricula and methods of assessment that are informed by global pedagogical standards. The Council for Indian Schools Certificate Examination (CISCE), popularly known as’ ICSE board’ is the only Indian education board that enjoys international recognition. This implies that the grades acquired by the school students passing the board examinations are considered at par with the grades of several international merit assessment exams for higher education. Admissibility of ICSE board grades in English at par with TOFEL and IELTS grades is a case in point. Besides, the CISCE offers a wider choice of subjects than CBSE and state boards and emphasizes the overall development of pupils.  Starting a school in India affiliated to the ICSE board becomes an excellent choice for these reasons.

ICSE schools are compulsorily English medium schools and are required to maintain a high academic standard to sustain their affiliation with the council. Presently, there are over 2100 ICSE affiliated schools in India. The figures make it clear that the ICSE schools are lesser in number than schools affiliated to other education boards like CBSE. It implies that they cater to a population with a specific set of educational preferences. This gives a chance to the school to make its place and gain an edge through its merit without facing the disadvantages of having an enormous number of competitors in the fray. School promoters just have to concentrate on providing rich educational experience to their students and expect success and enviable reputation in return.

It is important to take note that the school should not advertise itself as “ICSE School” or running “ICSE syllabus”. This direction is in accordance with the rules laid down by the Council. The abbreviation CISCE should be used instead.

 

Coming to the process of gaining affiliation with the CISCE, it must be underscored that for an affiliation application made by a school to be processed it must have

  1. Association with a Trust/Society/Company

The trust /society /company must be non- proprietary and must be financially sustainable. It must ensure that a School Governing Body and Managing Committee are constituted.

To attest the financial stability of the trust/society/company an audit report issued by a firm of chartered accountants along with balance sheet and income and expenditure accounts must be submitted while applying for affiliation.

 

  1. State Board recognition and No Objection Certificate (NOC)

The school applying for affiliation must have a prior recognition from the state board and a NOC to the effect that the state approves the affiliation of the school with the ICSE from preschool to class 10th or 12th.

The school applying for affiliation must have started Class VI and the school must get affiliated to the CISCE before students enter Class IX.  It is strongly stated by the council that before the affiliation is granted students should not be promoted to class IX.

 

The schools applying for affiliation to CISCE should concentrate their efforts and resources on following aspects

  1. Land and School Infrastructure

School land and property must be in the name of the Society / Trust / Company or the school itself. The land can be owned or leased. If the land or school building is leased it should be registered for a minimum term of 5 years, additionally, there must be a renewal clause of at least 30 years.

Minimum land requirement for a school applying for affiliation with the CISCE is 2000 sq.metres. Such land would include the school building and the playground.

A format termed ‘land certificate’ assigned by the Council needs to be filled by the school applying for affiliation. You can download the form at ICSE land certificate form.

Coming to the school building and infrastructure, the council mandates minimum area of a classroom to be 37 sq.metres. There must be separate laboratories for science subjects with practical’s and for lessons in computers. The labs must be well equipped. The complete inventory of lab equipment can be availed from the council’s website http://cisce.org/. The school must also have requisite infrastructure for instruction in other subjects, for instance, equipment and field space for practical instructions in Geography etc.

The school must also have a fairly rich library. The specifications of the CISCE with respect to the stock of the library is   2500 books with about 5 books per student excluding the text book specimens. The council clearly directs that the school library must not stock keys or guide books of any sort.

Fulfilling land and infrastructure requirements requires careful selection and precision. With the advent of portals like SchoolProp.com the property for schools has become far more accessible.

 

  1. Teaching Staff

The school must appoint teachers with qualifications as per the CISCE norms. The council has specified the qualification and experience required for the academic staff including the Principal and the Vice-Principal.  For instance, minimum qualification according to the council for The Principal / Headmaster / Headmistress is a postgraduate in a teaching subject from a recognized University and a recognized teacher-education degree and five years teaching experience in a recognized school. For details about the qualification and experience for teachers and heads Chapter II of the affiliation guidelines must be referred at CISE Affiliation Guidelines.

While considering the question of teacher student ratio it must be kept in mind that the number of students in any given class must not exceed 45.

Given the uncompromising attitude of the CISCE regarding the qualification and experience of teachers and Heads of the schools affiliated with them, a recruitment drive for selecting adequately qualified teachers must be undertaken. School promoters can find human resources for schools through educatorOne.com

 

  1. Establishment of Curriculum

The Council has a prescribed Curriculum for Preschool to Class VIII.  It has assigned syllabi for subjects   of examination for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) (Classes IX & X) and for the Indian School Certificate (ISC) (Classes XI & XII) examinations.

There are however no assigned textbooks for instruction by the council except for English and other languages. The schools can opt for a set of textbooks for instruction in all other subjects provided they are efficient in imparting the desirable levels of knowledge.

 

  1. Preparation for Inspection

After the application for affiliation is made by the school and the application is found complete with all essential documents and details the Council will delegate to the inspectors the duty of school inspection for affiliation.

The council has expressly instructed the aspects and ideal conditions for their upkeep in chapter III of its affiliation guidelines.

School promoters must mind that these conditions are met in totality to ensure their school’s affiliation with CISCE. The comprehensive list of facets that are inspected includes the school infrastructure, teaching and other staff, facilities, documentation, students’ assessment criteria, curriculum and teaching aids, extracurricular facilities, Internet availability, documentation standard, conduct of examinations, accounts, medical amenities and staff, fire safety, provision of lifts and staircases with railings, water harvesting apparatus etc.

School supplies are carefully assessed both for quality and quantity by the Council. A detailed list of school supplies that must be at the disposal of the school administration is listed in the affiliation guidelines. It includes high quality blackboards, teaching aids, stationery, laboratory equipment, and furniture and storage facilities besides sports and games supplies etc. School promoters must carefully observe the listings in the affiliation guidelines of the council at the link given above and make no compromises. Quality school supplies can be purchased online on portals like schoolsupermart.com.

 

 

The school promoters must prepare for the Inspection and concentrate on the undermentioned aspects.

 

  • Documents of School Initiation

Documents detailing every aspect of school founding that must be maintained include land records, blue print of the structure, fitness report from the concerned authority, NOC from the Government, trust deed, memorandum of association / registration certificate, list of members of the Governing Body / Managing Committee, minutes of the meetings of the Governing Body / Managing Committee and audited statement of accounts of the school.

 

  • School Infrastructure and Support Services

Details of the school building, location and surroundings, architectural design of interiors, playground, toilets,    drainage and emergency safety apparatuses are surveyed. Quality of the construction will be particularly observed by the inspectors deputed by the Council for affiliation fitness inspection.

The sizes and equipment levels of classrooms, library and laboratories will be closely inspected. Stock registers of supplies must be kept up to date for the inspection. Special attention is to be paid to the computer lab where required number of appropriately configured computers and internet facility will be particularly inspected. Library must be stocked and staffed according to the Councils directions and its budget allocation is to be specified.

Facilities, Canteen, Infirmary will be inspected for hygiene status and standard of equipment.  Infirmary must be well equipped and staffed. It has to have wheel chairs, oxygen cylinders and services of Doctors and nurses at hand.

School Conveyance must stand in good stead. The condition of school buses, background information of drivers and conductors and security arrangements will be inspected besides other details that are considered relevant by the inspecting team.

 

  • Documents and details of students and staff

It includes details about the number of boys and girl students in each classroom. The admission process is also scrutinized by the Inspection Committee. The documents including birth certificates and transfer certificates must be in place. Other documents that are to be produced at the time of inspection include the fee book, attendance registers, consolidated mark sheets, school time table and format of report cards.

There must be an articulated document detailing the provisions for the differently abled students. Details of and procedures followed with regard to the management and employment of teachers, administrative and ancillary staff must be documented for appraisal.  This includes the details of the qualifications of the teachers and Principal, their pay scale and work load. Besides that the leave rules, teaching modalities and service conditions must be clearly delineated for the Inspectors’ observation.

The same applies for the administrative and ancillary staff. There also has to be a Counsellor and Special Educator. The documents and details that are needed for inspection are service records, attested certificates and documents of the qualifications of the employees, reports of the lesson observation, appraisals and incentives records and salary and attendance registers for the employees.

 

  • Status of Academics and Extra-curricular activities

The details about the academic set up and curricular conduct of the school is closely checked by the council and any asymmetry between the guidelines and practice is pointed out. The details include the subjects being taught in the different classes, third language from Grade V to VIII, choice of subjects planned for Grade IX to XII , text books prescribed , class assignments and homework , projects in different subjects ,practical work in Sciences ,Craft / Art / Socially Useful Productive Work , speaking skills and conversation skill in the languages , aural comprehension , use of teaching aids , criteria for internal assessment , format of question papers, evaluation of examination answer scripts , format of the report card , consolidated report card and mark sheet for the year.

The details of the co-curricular activities which include drama, dance, music, elocution, inter- school and intra-school competitions, house system , exhibitions of art, craft and projects,  hobby clubs , school magazine / newsletter , social services and community programs are to be produced at the time of inspection.

Once the inspecting Officers deputed by the CISCE submit their report the school awaits the correspondence from the council. If approved, the new school gets a provisional affiliation.

The process of CISCE affiliation is demanding, and once obtained, sustaining the affiliation requires consistent effort on the part of the school management. It has to keep assessing every aspect of school operation and strategize school improvement. If this is accomplished the school would certainly see itself in the league of reputed CISCE schools.


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