Mahatma Gandhi secured the participation of thousands for Salt Satyagraha. Education plays the same role for every Household today as Salt did in 1930
Mahatma Gandhi secured the participation of thousands for Salt Satyagraha. Education plays the same role for every Household today as Salt did in 1930.
The Delhi Government has built its Governance Model around Education. Its education system is praised by every Indian Household and is craved by many students.
In India, there always have been two kinds of education models in the country :
1) One of the classes
2) Another one for the Masses
The Delhi Government has been able to bridge this gap. The approach stems from the belief that quality education is necessary, not a luxury. The state government provides 25% of its funds for education. The model’s success now creates a pathway for the next set of reforms.
Five key components have allowed Delhi to lead in Education Sector :
1) Transformation of School Infrastructure
Depleted School structures lack basic facilities and are responsible for lowering the enthusiasm of teachers along with students. The Delhi Government sought to change this by building new, aesthetically designed classrooms equipped with furniture, intelligent boards, staff rooms, auditoriums, laboratories, libraries, sports facilities, etc.
2) Training of Teachers and Principals
Several opportunities were given to teachers to enhance Professional Growth. They visited the National Institute of Education, Singapore; Cambridge University; IIM Ahmedabad; and other models of excellence in India. The exposure to new leadership and pedagogy training enabled Delhi’s Education System to shift from a uniform training model for everyone to learn from the best practices in India and abroad.
3) Engaging with the Community
To engage with the Community School Management Committees (SMC) were reconstituted, where the annual budget for each SMC was ₹5 to 7 lakhs. The School Management Committees can spend this money on any activity or material, such as even hiring teachers on a short-term basis. Regular dialogues between parents and teachers were initiated through mega parent-teacher meetings. Guidelines were provided on how to engage with parents. Invitations for meetings are sent through newspapers, FM radio, advertisements, etc.
4) Major Curricular Reforms
There have been major curricular reforms in learning and teaching. In 2016, the Delhi Government (AAP) noted an approximately 50% failure rate in Class 9th and found poor foundational skills of children responsible. Special initiatives were brought up to ensure that all children could learn to read and write. Basic Math was launched and made a part of regular teaching-learning activities in schools, and a ‘happiness curriculum’ was introduced for the children between Nursery to Class 8 for their mental health and emotional well-being. Further, an ‘entrepreneurship mindset curriculum’ was taught to develop children’s critical thinking and problem-solving abilities from Classes 9th to 12th. Apart from these curricular initiatives, the focus on existing subjects too was ensured better performance in Board examinations by Classes 10th and 12th.
5) No Fee Hike
There was no fee hike in private schools. At the same time, the first four components impacted nearly 34% of children in Delhi’s government schools, and arbitrary fee hikes earlier impacted about 40% of private school students. Before, almost all the schools increased their fee by 8 to15% annually. The Delhi Government not only ensured the refund of about ₹32 crores to parents, which private schools excessively charged, but it also ensured that authorised chartered accountants examined any fee hike proposal. Thus, no school was allowed to raise its fee for two years.
Manish Sisodia, the leader of Delhi’s Education Model, commented, “having built the foundation of education,” the focus now will shift to “education as the foundation.” As we move forward, there will be three significant areas of reform apart from consolidating the gains of the past.
1) The syllabus of Classes 1st to 8th will be reviewed
It will emphasize the foundational learning skills, the ‘happiness curriculum’ and the ‘Desh bhakti’ curriculum. Apart from ensuring that all students can fluently read, write and do the maths, the focus will be to build emotional/mental resilience in children and ensure that they internalize our Key Constitutional Values by the time they complete the first eight years of schooling. Early education and childhood care will be enhanced further with the help of Anganwadis. Also, All Government Schools will have nurseries.
2) A Delhi Education Board will be set up
It will promote learning that encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and student knowledge application. It will prepare them to tackle the challenges in the 21st century with an entrepreneurial mindset. Additionally, for students who have graduated from Delhi schools in the recent past, programs like spoken soft skills, English, and so on will be initiated to raise their employability opportunities.
3) Specialised Schools
Specialized Schools will be created in the 29 zones of Delhi to nurture the aptitude and talent of students in the areas of science and technology, language and literature, sports, performing, and visual arts.
Delhi has decisively acknowledged education as a priority of governance; the expectation from the State Government would be to ensure that all children get an education that passes the test of quality, opportunity, and equity.