While many private schools including those affiliated to the CBSE are shying away from implementing the RTE Act, the Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools or KVs) stands out in offering quality education with a socially inclusive approach.
For decades, the KVs have been admitting students from across the social spectrum and yet largely maintaining quality of teaching and producing some of the best brains in the country. In Tamil Nadu, over 40 KVs have implemented the RTE Act in letter and spirit without complaints about dents in the standards of the teaching-learning environment.
“Since we are directly under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, we hardly face any shortage of funds, all of which is used for infrastructure. Annual inspections by officials, result-oriented approach of teachers and cooperation from parents are key elements in our success,” says Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (Chennai Region) Assistant Commissioner Karunagaran.
“We give special attention to slow learners and students of Classes X and Class XII. Sometimes, we focus more on studies and compromise a bit on extracurricular activities,” he adds.
“We start with NCERT books from Class I. Activity-based learning is followed in primary classes. When students reach higher classes we monitor them regularly.
We conduct semi- residential coaching for those students who score less than 50 percent,” says C Muthiah, principal, K V Narimedu in Madurai.
The quality of academics is another positive factor, says Arunachalam, principal in-charge, KV Meena Estate in Coimbatore. “If you ask me, the quality of the teachers is sacrosanct in ensuring good education. We are recruited after a written test, which is followed by an interview. We are strong academically,” he says.
Teachers also say that laboratory facilities like computers and smart-class materials are of global standards. The Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation has also contributed to their success.
Some of the prominent alumni of KVs include astronaut Rakesh Sharma, quiz master Sidhartha Basu and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen.