The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a circular regarding mandatory accreditation for all the CBSE schools.
The schools have been asked to get themselves accredited mandatorily, and for which they can start applying online through CBSE’s website.
In the late year 2011, the CBSE was launched a system of rating and accreditation for its schools, which was voluntary in nature. But now, after a pilot project, it has been made mandatory for all the schools by CBSE.
In the circular, the deputy secretary (affiliation) UC Bodh wrote to schools, "It is brought to the notice of all heads of the affiliated school that it has been made mandatory to get accredited once every five years. This has been done keeping in view the concerns regarding quality of education."
Schools will have to pay an affiliation fee of Rs 55, 000. Bodh said that once get accredited, schools will get a 'permanently affiliated' status.
To apply online for accreditation, the schools need to fill the 'Form of Intent' on CBSE's website. Called as the School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Scheme (SQAAS), the accreditation process entails three-phase with the first being the submission of online application along with relevant evidence to support the data.
A visit to the school by Peer Assessor Team (PAT) or agency for validation of data and collection of supporting evidence completes the second phase. Here, the agency means private firms entrusted by the CBSE for field visits and to verify school data. And, the PAT will comprise three members who would be school principals, and who are certified to be assessors for accreditation by the central board.
The third or the final phase will entail reporting on the applicant school's accreditation by PAT/agency to CBSE.
A final decision on whether to give accreditation will be taken by the CBSE.
To help prepare for accreditation and other relevant nitty-gritty, the board is conducting orientation workshops at regional level.
"Details of such programs will be made available on the website. Schools are advised not to take help of any private agencies in this regard. The board encourages all its affiliated schools to undertake the accreditation exercise to review their dimensions of quality and excellence", said Bodh in the circular.
As per the circular, the accreditation is mandatory for schools because it will guarantee a 'permanently affiliated' status for schools, and will increase transparency by making schools’ infrastructure, staff and other details public. Further, the accreditation will help schools identify their strengths and weakness by comparing themselves with other schools.