By Meenal Arora
Along with lots of happiness, parenting also brings a great deal of responsibilities. Selecting the right formal school is one of the most important decisions that we make. Nobody has the magic formula to determine the best school, there are numerous things to keep in mind but, yes, here are the five most important factors to consider before making the right choice.
The actual workforce behind the school – the management – can really make or break a school. Make sure that the school management has relevant educational background and enough experience in the field of education. People who have adequate experience of running schools know how to handle the challenges encountered in day-to-day working of a school while inexperienced hands will hamper the working of the school and in turn, the learning of the students.
The curriculum and co-curricular activities
In today’s world, curriculum doesn’t refer to only books and notebooks, but the totality of students’ experiences during the educational process. The curriculum should be child-centric with focus on learning and practicing core subject-skills as well as life skills such as conversation, thinking skills, personality development, etc. Co-curricular activities are an integral part of the school curriculum and help in enhancing the learning process of students. They help in enhancing social and intellectual skills, moral values and personality of the students. A school should provide plethora of activities for students to choose from. Understand beforehand the curriculum followed and the co-curricular activities offered in the school.
Location and timings
The school should not be far from your home. The location should be easily accessible and should not be in remote and secluded areas. Keeping in mind the safety of the students and the pollution-levels, a school should not be on a highway. A child should not spend a long time to travel to and fro between school and home. Check beforehand whether the school provides transport or not. If both parents are working, then they should make sure that the school timings match with their work timings.
Safety and security
Safety at school is important for children of all ages. Children spend considerable hours of their day in school and it becomes of utmost importance that safety of children is given due consideration. A safe environment creates an open space for them to explore, learn and grow. Parents should be aware of the safety procedures followed in the school and should send their child to the school with the most experienced hands.
Quality of teachers
The school should have well-qualified, dynamic teachers who provide a positive learning environment for the students. Teaching-learning is an ever evolving process, so ensure that the school organises regular workshops and trainings for the teachers to keep them up-to-date. The school management should spend a great deal of time, energy and resources on providing intensive training programmes to update the knowledge and upgrade the skills of their teachers.
The student- teacher ratio should also be kept low so that proper attention and care can be provided to each and every student. Ensure that the school is providing sufficient training to its teachers.
By keeping these suggestions under your sleeve, you will be better equipped to make an informed and intelligent choice for your child.
(The writer is Founder Director, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools.)