Schools in Delhi

Delhi definitely boasts of some of the best premier academic institutions that can compete with the internationally acclaimed educational institutes. The school education system in Delhi has emerged with remarkable improvements over the years and hence deserves a special mention with excellent infrastructure and facilities that makes them immensely popular amongst the students of India.

The Directorate of Education is responsible for the administration of the higher educational institutions and schools in Delhi. The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and other private organizations also supervise various other educational institutes in Delhi. According to a survey conducted in 2001, the average literacy rate of Delhi is 81.2% which is higher than the rest of the Country.

There are different Kinds of Schools in Delhi that range from Government Schools to Private schools in Delhi. Within these categories fall the Preschools [Play School or Pre Nursery School] in Delhi, Elementary and Secondary Schools in Delhi and Residential Schools in Delhi. Most of the private schools in Delhi are affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education or ‘CBSE’ while some are affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education or ‘ICSE’. According to a survey conducted in 2004-2005, the education scenario of Delhi has become more distinguished with approximately 15.29 lakh and 8.22 lakh students taking admission in Primary and Middle schools respectively.

According to a survey conducted in 2004-2005, Delhi homes 2,515 primary schools, 1,208 senior secondary schools, 635 middle schools and 504 secondary schools. These are inclusive of convents, chain schools and public schools.

In 1986, Post independence, the central government of India formulated the National Policy on Education [NPE] and also reinforced the Programme of Action [POA]. The government also initiated the launch of District Primary Education Programme [DPEP] and ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ [SSA] and also had set up the ‘Navodaya Vidyalaya’ and several selective schools in every district. It also looked at advancements in girls’ education, inter-disciplinary research and establishment of open universities for both boys and girls.

The NPE comprise of the National System of Education that ensures some uniformity in regional educational needs. It also stresses on spending more on higher education, however, the need for funds is more for a wider reform in the primary and secondary sectors which is recognized as an issue since the emphasis is more towards the development of science and technology education infrastructure.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training or NCERT is the apex body which is responsible for curriculum related matters of school education in India. It oversees the enforcement of educational policies in schools and provides support and technical assistance to various schools in India.

Beside NCERT, the National University of Educational Planning and Administration [NUEPA] and the National Council for Teacher Education [NCTE] are responsible for the management of the school education system and the accreditation of the teaching staff.

The curriculum bodies governing the school education system in India include:

  •  Autonomous schools like Ananda Marga Gurukula, Auroville, Patha Bhavan and Woodstock School.
  • International schools affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Programme and / or the Cambridge International Examinations.
  • Islamic Madrasa Schools, where boards are controlled by the local state governments or are autonomous or affiliated with the Darul Uloom Deoband.
  • The Central Board of Secondary Education [CBSE] board.
  • The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations [ICSE] board.
  • The National Institute of Open Schooling [NIOS] board.
  • The state government boards

The Government also lays emphasis on Primary education up to the age of 14 years which falls under the category of ‘Elementary Education in India’. The government also bans child labour to ensure that the children do not enter into unsafe working environments and conditions which is still a concern in India. Aspects like free education and the ban on child labour are still difficult to re-enforce due to the large economic disparity and social conditions of the Country. Almost 80% of all recognized schools at the Elementary level are run or funded by the Government, hence, making it the largest provider of school education in India.

Shortage of resources and lack of political will also impairs the education system. It suffers from gaps such as the pupil to teacher ratios, poor level of teacher training, shortage of infrastructure and facilities. In Government Schools, children between 6 to 14 years old or up to the eight standard are provided free education under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.

The District Education Revitalization Programme [DERP] was launched in 1994 with the aim to reform and vitalize the existing primary education system in India. Almost 85% of the DERP was funded by the Central Government while the rest of 15% is funded by the states. The DERP has also opened 1, 60,000 new schools that include 84,000 alternative education schools supported by UNICEF and other international programmes. This primary education scheme showed a high Gross Enrolment Ratio of 93% to 95% in the past few years in a few states along with significant improvement in staffing and enrolment of girls added to this scheme. The current scheme to integrate the Education system universally is done by the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ which is one of the largest educational initiatives in the world. Though enrolment has been enhanced, the levels of quality still remain low.

Today, almost 80% of schools in India are Government Schools that makes the government as the major provider of education in India. It is only due to the poor quality of public education that 27% of Indian children prefer private education. Research shows that private schools offer superior results only at a fraction of the unit cost of government schools. Private Schools cover the entire curriculum and offer extra-curricular activities to students; the pupil to teacher ratio is between 1:31 and 1:37 which is better than the ratio seen in government schools. However despite these facts, private schools fail to provide education to the poorest families due to which many resort to government schools. A survey in Hyderabad showed that 65% of children from slums attend private schools. This is probably the only exception as it is not seen in Delhi or other states.

Though emphasis is given to children who have passed out from Private Schools, most of them operate illegally and the government ensures that the operation of unrecognized schools is made illegal under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, thus simplifying the process of obtaining recognition. A study in 2001 showed that only 14 different licenses from four different authorities to open a private school in New Delhi are done legally.

It is often noticed that parents choose to teach their own children which is known as ‘Homeschooling’. This is legal in India but is the less explored option. The Indian Government allows parents the freedom of educating their children at home, if they have the means to. The HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal, has stated that a parent can decide not to send his / her children to school. Despite the RTE Act of 2009, the government cannot interfere with their personal decision.

Secondary education covers children between the age of 14 and 18 years. This covers 88.5 million children; however, enrolment figures show that only 31 million of these children had attended schooling in 2001 – 2002. This meant that two-third of the population remained out of school.

The secondary school system also offers a significant feature of including the disadvantaged sections of the society. This is possible via the extension of SSA to secondary education in the form of the Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan. A special Integrated Education for Disabled Children [IEDC] programme commenced in 1974 with a focus on primary education for the physically challenged students. This was then converted into Inclusive Education at the Secondary level of education. Another special and notable programme is the ‘Kendriya Vidyalaya’ project that was set up for children of the employees of the central government of India distributed throughout India. This project commenced in 1965 in order to provide a uniform education for children in schools following the same syllabus irrespective of the location to which the employee's family is being transferred. has made every attempt to compile a list of notable of Public schools, Private schools, Convent, Montessori, Government Schools in Delhi and to provide accurate information as much as possible. However, should there be any discrepancy in the details of the schools provided here, please do feel free to write to us with the correct details and feedback.

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