Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) is a system of schools for talented students, mainly hailing from rural areas in India. They are operated by Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, New Delhi, an autonomous organization under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
JNVs are fully residential and co-educational schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi, with classes from grade VI to XII. JNVs pick smart, talented students through the JNVST and provide them with an education in an excellent residential school system, regardless of their families’ socio-economic condition.
There are 661 JNVs across the country, which admit students in class VI and IX through the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (designed, developed and conducted by CBSE) and also in class XI where admissions are through lateral entry based on class X Board exam results.
JNVs offer several unique benefits for their students:
- Negligible cost of education – The cost of boarding, education, and all other student activities is borne by the HRD Ministry, Govt. of India. Therefore, every student receives quality education is entirely free, which doesn’t happen at any other private or government school in the country.
- Great Campuses – JNV campuses are generally located on the outskirts to ensure that students have a peaceful learning environment that is undisturbed by the urban hustle-bustle. Most campuses contain residential blocks (hostels), academic building(s) – containing laboratories, computer centers, library, halls and classrooms, and ample free space and playgrounds for physical activity. Each campus is at least 30 acres in size (as per the NVS guidelines).
- Emphasis on sports to promote overall development – Students have to participate in physical exercise every morning mandatorily, and can learn and participate in various sports throughout their schooling years. Students would also be provided with the resources to compete at state and national levels if they display the aptitude for a specific game. Inter-school competitions are held yearly at the cluster, regional, national, and SGFI (School Games Federation of India) level.
- Empowerment – Given that JNVs are residential boarding schools, students stay away from their parents and develop a sense of independence. They learn to do their chores and take care of themselves, which teaches a sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency in them from a young age.
- Excellent Academics – JNVs have consistently performed and delivered the best results in Board Examinations. Their pass percentage remains higher than most other government and private schools (including Kendra Vidyalayas). Students have performed very well, delivering an average score of about 75% in Grade 12 and 78% in Grade 10, with more than 89% of students scoring First Division scores in the 2019 CBSE Board Examinations. Additionally, around 450 JNVs use Smart Classes along with regular lessons – they are equipped with SmartBoards, laptops and tablets, and WiFi/internet connectivity to supplement learning engagingly.
- Migration Programme – This is a program where two sister JNVs that belong to different language categories (Hindi and non-Hindi) exchange students among them – students from each school spend a year at the other, facilitating social and cultural exchanges, and providing students with an opportunity to explore different cultures. The aim of this is to promote “promote national integration and enrich social content.”
- Extracurricular engagement – Students are encouraged to explore sciences and cultural activities outside the scope of their academic requirements. The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti conducts a Children Science Congress to promote scientific temper. JNVs enable participation in competitions such as Olympiads and organize research visits, environmental activities, and skill training. Several cultural avenues are also available to students, given the availability of music and art rooms in each JNV. Students can showcase their skills at the Inter-School technical and cultural competitions held annually at the regional and national levels. NCC (National Cadet Core) and NSS (National Service Scheme) have also been introduced to JNVs.