Dutt’s compilation, Guide to Good Schools of India, now
in its seventh edition, is a useful handbook. It is useful, of
course, to parents, at whom it is primarily directed.
Education—and when I say education in this context, I mean
private education—is booming in India. Drive through any small
to big town or city in India, and you will see evidence of the
boom. From paper leaflets to huge billboards, the advertising
of new schools is relentless. Some people are offended by
this. I must admit to a degree of discomfort at the way that we
are assailed by the arrival of a new school. Yet, what is
undeniable and heartening is that this is evidence of the boom
in education—and in the long run that can only be good. More
schools mean more opportunities and choices for India’s children
How, though, should parents choose
amongst the array of schools available? Should they opt for an
old, established school? Should they instead try out a new,
innovative school? Is a day school or a residential school
better for their child and their family? What kind of fees
should they expect to pay for what kind of facilities? Is a
co-educational school suited to them or a single-sex school?
This book does not answer all these important and challenging
questions, but it does lead us towards some answers by giving us
data on a whole range of residential schools.
Dutt’s Guide to Good Schools of
India is not just a useful handbook for parents. It is also
a good starting point for education professionals—teachers,
principals, school management, and officials and other policy
makers—and the general public that might be interested in such
matters. I looked through the pages of the volume with a fair
degree of curiosity: who were these other good (residential)
schools of India apart from the ones that quickly come to mind?
What do the old and new schools offer? How much are we all the
same, and how much do we differ? Dutt has not written a Ph.D.
thesis on these issues; but he has given education professionals
a tantalizing peak into the fast-changing world of residential
We in India are not very good at
producing handbooks and simple, informative material for
consumers. Sandeep Dutt has pioneered the effort for schools.
I hope he continues to provide this service, indeed to improve
it with each edition.
Dr. Kanti Prasad Bajpai
Former Headmaster, The Doon School, Dehradun
Professor & Vice-Dean (Research)
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore