Sudhanva Shetty Shetty
Writer, coffee-addict, likes folk music & long walks in the rain. Firmly believes that there's nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate.
Government schools have for a long time had to combat the stigma of being considered second-class when compared to their private counterparts. The public has an image of government schools being overcrowded, shabby, under-equipped and poorly funded. To a large extent, this stereotype holds true in many parts of the country.
Would parents take their students out of private schools so as to get them admitted in government schools? For anyone familiar with India’s education landscape, this will seem unlikely. But this is exactly what has been happening with Sarvodaya Co-Ed Senior Secondary School in Delhi’s Rohini Sector 21.
Since its inception on April 1, 2017, Sarvodaya has propelled the parents of over 900 students to opt out of private schools and get their children admitted in the government school instead.
With a student strength of 1,200, Sarvodaya boasts of modern, well-developed infrastructure of the same calibre as any of the nearby private schools, if not better. As such, the students in the school feel no different that they did in their previous, private schools. Add to the more affordable fees, there is little surprise that Sarvodaya – and other government educational institutes across the country – are emerging on par with their private counterparts.
So what about Sarvodaya Co-Ed Senior Secondary School is so attractive? The Logical Indian spoke with Dr Sukhbir Singh Yadav, the school’s Vice Principal, to understand this.
Mr Yadav said, “This is a newly constructed school. It has a very central location and excellent infrastructure – just like any private school. Additionally, thanks to government funding, all kinds of facilities are provided to teachers, staff and students – again, just like in any private school, but this time it is affordable for the parents. The uniformity, discipline and facilities boost the image of the school and the authorities as well.”
The government school has 69 rooms, 44 of which are classrooms and the rest of which are miscellaneous rooms, including math lab, computer lab, yoga lab, chemistry lab, music room, activity room, medical room etc.
Sarvodaya caters to students from Nursery to Class 12 and has a student population of 1,200. The number of teachers is 38, 24 of whom are regular, the rest being either guest teachers of contract teachers.
Vice Principal Yadav admitted that the school was slightly strapped of manpower and would look to increasing the number of staff members in the near future. But despite this, the school is faring admirably.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Atishi Marlena, Advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia, said, “Our aim is to make top quality education accessible to every single child in Delhi. No one must be denied quality education for the lack of resources. The AAP government is committed to making government schools better than private schools. People are paying taxes for these services and our government wants to ensure that they receive them.”
“Everybody knows that teachers from government schools are more capable,” Mr Yadav said. “They are chosen from very difficult competitive exams – out of a lakh candidates, only a thousand or so make it through. The generalisation of government teachers as lax and lazy is both incorrect and offensive.”
99% students in Class 11 are reportedly those who left private schools where they were paying fee of Rs 1,000-3,000 per month. Now with the school all set to expand its infrastructure and student strength, Sarvodaya’s success story will only continue.
“I love my profession,” Vice President Yadav said happily. “Teaching is my passion.”
The Logical Indian community applauds the success of Delhi’s Sarvodaya Co-Ed Senior Secondary School and the government’s efforts in revamping government schools in the country’s capital. We hope more such success stories emerge and inspire change in all of India’s government schools so that they reach the level of private schools in all aspects, if not better.
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