The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) is a platform that brings together budget private schools (BPS) from across the country to give them a unified voice to address their concerns about legislations and bye-laws which apply to them and to facilitate quality improvement in schools. As of today, NISA represents over 36,400 schools, from 20 state associations, which cater to the needs of ~9.35 million children at an average of ~250 children per school.
School, as well as systemic level change is what NISA is striving for. With its focus on building a strong platform, creating awareness around Budget Private Schools (BPS), achieving policy change and improving school quality, NISA aims to:
- Advocate the immediate concerns of low-fee and budget private schools via the media and other channels to build evidence for their relevance.
- Create an ecosystem for school Quality Improvement by partnering with different organisations working in the education space.
Where it all started?
In the year 2010, at the Enterprising Schools Symposium, the Government Engagement round table session declared Progressive Action Commitments (PACTS) on advocacy to build a facilitative environment for Budget Private Schools (BPS) and improve the image of the BPS sector. Dr Parth J Shah, President of Centre for Civil Society made a PACT to assist BPS leaders by supporting the development of a national association and hence started the journey of NISA in 2011.
Why a platform like NISA is critical
Budget Private Schools as of today are a reality one can hardly overlook. With an enrolment of around 60 million averaging to around 29% of students (as per the ASER Report 2013), they have come about as a natural response of edu-preneurs to meet the urgent education needs of the nation. Operating on wafer thin margins, their emphasis has been on learning outcomes rather than only on infrastructure and facilities. Systematic research has shown that they produce the same learning outcomes as the government schools, but at only one-third the cost (Study by Karthik Muralidharan).
Despite all the pros, today BPS are facing threat of closure due to the norms laid down under the Right to Education Act 2009. Considering the pivotal role they play in expanding the access of education to the poorest in India, it becomes imperative that a platform like NISA raises their concerns which will positively affect the larger education space in the country.
What we do
In order to create an enabling ecosystem for budget private schools to improve accessibility, affordability and quality of education for the economically weaker sections of the society, NISA engages with stakeholders to:
- Enhance image and voice of budget private schools through access to media and help them build evidence through systematic linkages with academia
- Bring together different stakeholders including service providers, education experts, investors, financial institutions, thought leaders, education service providers, principals of affordable school, proprietors and association heads
- Conduct workshops and trainings on leadership management, classroom teaching techniques and other quality education modules with budget private schools
- Provide legal aid via a network of lawyers across the country
- Enable BPS to have better access to credit and other services at affordable rate
- Be an access point for relevant information for BPS
For more information, visit the National Independent Schools Alliance website.