What comes to your mind when you think of a government school? Dingy classrooms, no benches and an overall poor infrastructure? Well, one look at the government schools in Delhi is enough to bust these stereotypes. These schools provide modern, well-developed infrastructure of the same calibre as any of the nearby private schools, if not better, all this and more at a nominal fee.
Yesterday a friend called – the Principal of a private school had seen pictures of the new desks in Delhi Govt schools and wanted to buy the same for their private school. Now Pvt schools want to follow govt schools! Who would have thought this was possible?! pic.twitter.com/BPK0vHF6SN
Without any qualms, the Delhi government has made it quite clear that education remains one of its topmost priority. In the budget announced by the Minister of Finance of Delhi, Manish Sisodia on March 22 said, “Our government aspires to make Delhi an educational hub and has been working sincerely in this direction.”
A whopping 26.3% of the total budget has been allocated under budget allocation 2018-19. This makes education, the sector to get maximum share. As compared to last year’s allocation of 23.7%, this year the share has gone up by 2.6%. It is to be noted that the average of 19 states’ 2017-18 budget estimates towards education was just about 16.1%.
As per Mr Sisodia, the Delhi government plans to set up 12,748 rooms, including 9,981 classrooms, 106 multipurpose halls, 328 laboratories, 204 libraries/ principal and vice-principal rooms/staff rooms and 1,067 toilet blocks. Sisodia also added that there is an evident additional pressure since many students were now leaving private schools to join government schools, reported The Times of India.
Continued efforts to improve quality
The Delhi government has put greater efforts at bettering the situation of education. And the results are quite visible. Not just in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of the quality of the education being imparted.
Class XII students of government schools were able to achieve a commendable feat. The pass percentage this year was 90.64%, 2.37% higher than the last year and 7.6% higher than the national CBSE average.
The vast improvement in quality of education imparted can be attributed to the various schemes being introduced by the Delhi Government. Only until last year, just 48% of the students in classes III to IX were able to read textbooks. Now, after the “Mission Buniyaad” was launched by the AAP government in April this year, 63% of students of the target group were able to read.
In an attempt to improve students’ performance through the means of effective parent-teacher partnerships, the Delhi government has been conducting mega parent-teacher meetings (PTMs). The pre-exam PMTs were held in government schools, earlier this year. Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia had then personally visited several of these across the city.
Not only the academics part, but the Delhi government seems to be giving due importance to the overall well-being of the students. Understanding that marks alone are not a parameter by which a person’s success can be gauged, a special “happiness curriculum” has been introduced. This curriculum is for around eight lakh students from nursery up to Class VIII of all Delhi government schools, operational from the new academic session. The curriculum involves a “happiness period” of 45 minutes and five minutes of meditation before each class.
Apart from this, installation of CCTV cameras, self-defence classes for girl students and spoken English classes are among some of the various initiatives launched by the Delhi government.
All this has seemed to have actually worked. Last year alone, some 900 students from private schools enrolled themselves into government schools. In fact, two AAP MLA have enrolled their own children in these schools. If these schools continue performing this way, it wouldn’t really be a surprise if other bureaucrats and politicians admit their wards in government schools.
The Logical Indian take
At the time when states like Uttar Pradesh have still not provided even the mandatory books and uniforms to its students even as half of the session is already over, government schools in Delhi seem to be showing the way. Good and holistic education is a right of every child and Delhi seems to be a shining example in providing just that. Delhi government’s aspiration to transform into an educational hub does not really seem like a distant dream now, provided these efforts are continuous and persistent. The national capital is now an example on how priorities must be set. The Logical Indian hopes that other states take a cue from this.