With a literacy rate upwards of 82 per cent, the state of Goa ranks next only to Kerala when it comes to educational outreach. There are more than 2000 schools in the state, which cater to a population of above 1.3 million. Interestingly most of the good schools in Goa are not privately run, as is the case in several parts of the country. In fact, some of the best and popular schools in Goa are convents, run by several Catholic orders, renowned for their achievements in the field of science. Don Bosco’s High School located near St Inez in Panaji is one the oldest and the most prestigious schools in the state. Don Bosco’s is owned and managed by the Salesian society of Don Bosco and has a stellar reputation, be it for educational merit or achievements in sports. The upscale Sharada Mandir High School is located bang opposite the famous Miramar beach. The upmarket co-ed school was founded in 1966 and now offers the Indian Certificate of Secondary education module, while most of the other schools are affiliated to the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Education. The school presently has 1800 students on its rolls and is known to consciously maintain low teacher-student ratio. Another school which has withstood the test of time is the Mushtifund High School. Literally translated, Mushtifund means a fistful of grains, symbolic of the fact that the school was started with the help of small donations made by the community some decades ago. Other schools worth mention in Panaji are People High School, Progress High School, Mary Immaculate School , Anjuman Islam , etc. Thirteen kilometers from Panaji to the north, the town of Mapusa has emerged as an education hub with several colleges and schools within its jurisdiction, with St Britto , a boys' school run by the Society of Jesuits being the most popular of the lot. Located on the central hillcrest, the school was started in 1946.
A couple of buildings away is the New Goa High School founded by Padmashri Dr Suresh Amonkar in the 1960s. As a co-ed school, New Goa High School has a penchant for producing the merit list rankers for the Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SCCE) examinations. Down slope from New Goa, is the all girls St Mary’s School , which was launched by the Aplostolic Carmel Congregation in 1948, when Goa was still a Portuguese colony. Away in South Goa, the principal town of Margao also has a host of popular schools. At the top of the heap lies Loyola High School, which is almost synonymous with the town. The school was founded in 1932, making it one of the oldest schools in the state. The school is run and managed by the Society of Jesus, which runs more than 100 schools throughout the country. The Bhatikar Model School is yet another educational institution in Margao, which is steeped in tradition. Started in the pre-liberated era (1935 to be specific), the school has emerged as one of the most favoured educational institutes for the residents of Margao. In the port town of Vasco, Regina Mundi High School run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers is a popular educational establishment. The school has been named after Edmund Ignatius Rice, a Christian missionary from Ireland. Other schools in Vasco include, St Thereza’s, Central government run Kendriya Vidyalaya and another school run by the Mormugao Education Society.