Taking new STEPs toward improving the quality of affordable private schools

On February 9th, 2020, school leaders and teachers from over 25 schools gathered at Mindtree School, Ambala, Haryana, to attend a session on “Self-Assessment for Schools.” They were brought together by an organization called the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA). NISA is a platform that brings together private schools (BPS) from across the country to give them a unified voice to address their concerns about regulatory challenges and to facilitate quality improvement in schools. With a presence in over 20 states in India, NISA partners with multiple organizations to work on the quality improvement aspects of their affiliated schools,  such as teacher training, school leadership training, and so on. 

Over the last couple of months, Mantra4Change has been working closely with NISA as part of its National Initiative of Quality Schools in Action (NIQSA)project, which focuses on creating an ecosystem for school development.  With the support of Mantra4Change, NISA has developed a charter to guide the school through the process of improvement and help them in creating NISA Model Schools across the country. As part of the partnership, Mantra4Change will bring to the table it’s domain expertise combined with field experiences in creating an ecosystem of support for school leaders. We will also support by suggesting improvement projects, based on the focus areas of the charter, using tools developed by Shikshalokam

The first round of training workshops were held earlier this month, in Ambala, where Ketika Nirula and Aishwariya Rastogi from Mantra4Change, helped school leaders understand the ‘self-assessment’ tools for their schools. They explained the purpose of such tools and how it would help in their journey of school development. The leaders were also introduced to ‘Samiksha,’ an app developed by Shikshalokam, which would help measure and analyze their assessments. The school leaders promised to complete assessments for their respective schools by March, after which improvement projects would be recommended based on their scores. 

Through this pilot program, over 100 schools will receive training on the self-assessment tools and improvement projects. By May 2020, NISA and Mantra4Change are hoping to see the implementation of the recommended projects in schools in Haryana and few other geographies. Mantra4Change is also providing technical support for the program through their association with Shikshalokam, who are developing ‘Samiksha’ and ‘Unnati’ to cater to the large number of schools part of the NISA initiative. 

At Mantra4Change, we are looking forward to seeing this partnership grow and blossom into a beautiful effort towards improving the quality of affordable private schools not only through our STEP and EXCEL programs but through collaborations like this.

Contributed by Team Mantra4Change

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