Educational Vision for Delhi (School)
I. The Preamble
At the outset, we commit to make available the highest quality of education available to the maximum number of people at the lowest cost. It is invalid to talk about fitting Delhi out with a 'world class' educational infrastructure. But what good would it be if the growth is not inclusive? In the 1990s, under BJP rule, Delhi's government school system became famous as the best state-run system in India. However, the past decade has seen decay and despondency. While, indeed, a large number of high-priced schools have come up for the children of rich families in Delhi, the vast masses have had to make do with less-than-mediocre facilities. Teachers are complaining at the lack of mid-career re-training. This gets reflected in the deteriorating standards of output in terms of aggregate performance of Delhi Government school students in board examinations â€“ which is far below expectations. Funds meant for education growth are either returned, unutilized or mis-utilized. There are many gaps in the delivery system. In short, the education scenario in Delhi is in urgent need of modernization so that the youth of Delhi can compete on equal terms with their counterparts in other world capitals. A 21st Century child needs a 21st Century education, which will not only be useful to pursue career goals but also would furnish his/her mind with patriotism and the zeal to achieve great things in life.
II. Programme of Action
A. Institutional Growth
- If elected to power, the BJP will setup separate Book Corporations for integrated textbook development, planning, execution and marketing to resolve the problems of a fragmented approach. If done under one roof, the overlapping of course content between higher and lower classes and the resultant lack of harmony will be avoided.
- Technical schools would be set up in each of the 16 districts of Delhi. These would offer prospects to secondary level students to prepare for higher level of scientific and technological education.
- Delhi will have the first Sports School. Talented students will be given academic-cum-vocational education alongside sports training and monitored health programmes. Scholarships to be provided with private sector support.
- Delhi's first of its kind Child University to be set up. Integrated Humanism concept of Deen Dayal Upadhyay will be implemented through this institution.
- Special Skill Imparting Institutesfor dropouts to be set up in each of the 16 districts of Delhi. Distance education to be used to resolve the problems of those who cannot attend classes owing to their personal problems.
- Independent research cells will be established for suggesting remedies to bottlenecks in educational system. Special focus on reducing delivery costs to ensure minimum expenditure on administration.
- Slum and rehabilitation colony children to be educated by Akal Vidyalas "Chal" (mobile) Vidyalayas whose purpose would be to ensure that underprivileged children without adequate environment for home study and lacking guidance at home are assisted with studies outside school hours. "Chal" laboratories and "Chal" libraries would also be available.
- For the first time, a state-level Social Service Council would be set up through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) route to ensure school goers in Delhi devote at least 10 per cent of their spare time during the academic year to social work. Council would identify specific goals like making Delhi 100 percent literate, promote compost making, reduce mosquito menace, etc. Modules will be setup for student involvement depending on age and capability. Council would also be responsible for administering the logistics involved in moving students to the project sites as burden cannot be passed on to teachers. Volunteers from among students would also be encouraged to work for Council.
- Delhi Education Act will be made more flexible. Recognition will be given to informal schools.
B. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
- Delhi State Educational Research and Training (SCERT) to develop a Delhi Curriculum Framework, while simultaneously the new State Secondary Board to be set up. A new syllabus would be adopted after the Curriculum Framework has been put through the widest possible consultation process.
- We need a paradigm shift in learning process. Instruction by 'rote' needs to be discontinued. Teacher-student ratio has to be reduced in government schools by expanding existing buildings to accommodate more classrooms. Emphasis to shift from routine examination based on memory to independent study using library and Internet.
- Environment Education to be made 100 percent compulsory in recognition of the danger of climate change and in consonance with Order of Hon'ble Supreme Court, 2003.
- Value Education will be integrated with course content as per Order of Hon'ble Supreme Court, 2002.
- So-called "sex education" to be banned. Yoga to be made compulsory.
- Burden of academics to be reduced from curriculum content.
- One computer with screen display to be provided to every government school classroom to enable teachers increase interaction with student and make learning more exciting.
- Strong emphasis on exposing students to India's cultural traditions. Musical training to be encouraged along with dance and drama.
Kothari Commission (1967) recommendations on patriotism, health care, social consciousness and spirituality ("four pillars") will be made part and parcel of Delhi's school education system.
- Three-language formula to be introduced in Delhi: Hindi, English and a choice of Sanskrit, Urdu and Punjabi. Students who take lateral admission to Class III and above from other states of India to be offered distance education facilities to replace Hindi as First or Second language. However, these students must necessarily take Hindi as their third language.
- Calendar for co-curricular activities to be developed by the Social Service Council. Awards to be instituted for excellence and ingenuity in social work.
- Websites for distance education in every subject to obviate the need for private tuition. Students can register at website for special assistance in all subjects including guidance on social work.
C. Teacher Training and mid-career development of skills
- A special cell for Teacher Education and Training (CTET) to be set up, initially as part of SCERT, but gradually given independent status as a Directorate.
- The Directorate will constantly monitor training programmes. Separate websites to be developed to promote teacher networking. Half a day to be earmarked per calendar month for self-assessment and for availing counseling and training.
- Special incentives, including pay benefits, to teachers whose students excel in social work.
- Teacher accountability to go up. Psychological counseling to teachers to address stress related problems, if any.
- Retirement age of teachers to be increased. Post-retirement earning facilities to be provided in Text Book Corporation, Social Service Council, "Chal" Vidyalayas, etc.
D. Improvement and Monitoring
- Pratibha Vidyalayas to be upgraded. Residential facilities on campus to be provided to meritorious students from distant places on the recommendation of the School Advisory Boards.
- School Advisory Boards to be set up in each school. These would comprise an ex-police official, ex-military official, ex-teacher, practicing doctor and representatives of students. These boards will be facilitators in meeting academic standards and social work objectives. A government education officer would have to take views of Advisory Boards' recommendations and submit regular 'action taken' reports.
Single window monitoring systems for schools to ensure savings in the government expenditure. State will earmark 15% of State Domestic Product for Education. Maximum efforts will be made to ensure minimum administrative overheads so that more funds reach the intended beneficiaries.
- Mid-Day Meal scheme to be improved with greater outlay. Quality of meals will be checked by School Advisory Boards.
E. Other Steps
PPP model to be utilized for improving financial situation of the school education system thereby funding activities of the Social Service Council. Private sector to be encouraged to dovetail their Corporate Social Responsibility mission with the Social Service Council objectives. Target of Rs. 100 Crore to be raised through private funding in first year.
- Government schools to be fitted with solar power facilities to reduce overheads. Rainwater harvesting to be introduced.
Students of all schools to be provided free passes to avail DTC bus and/or DMRC services (one round trip per school day) throughout the academic year. At other times, 50 percent concession.
- Free uniforms to all girl students. For boys, 50 per cent concession to be offered. SC/ST/OBC students of both sexes to get free uniforms and books, apart from tuition fee waiver.
- Recognition to informal schools run by well-meaning individuals and NGOs. Option to link with National Open School to be offered and training of teachers will be made possible. Certificates to students having studied up to Class V and lateral admission to government schools to be offered.
III. Five-Year Target
- Delhi to be 100% literate and every child to be in school.
- Capacity in government schools to double.
- Halving the teacher-student ratio in government schools. Attracting qualified persons to the teaching profession.
Zero dropout rate in schools. Distance education to serve all students.
- Youth population of Delhi totally committed to community development.
- Qualitative change in government school output. 500% improvement in board examination performance and substantial rise in Delhi government schools' brand equity.
- Weaning of private school population to government schools, thereby successfully achieving the "neighbourhood school" objective. At present students are forced to travel huge distances in buses each morning because the neighbourhood government schools are not up to the mark.
- Sports School concept to lead to qualitative improvement in Delhi and India's sporting record in international arena.
- Reduction in youth crime, drug abuse and juvenile diabetes because of children's involvement in social work.
- Youth population of second decade of 21st Century Delhi to be proud citizens of India, committed to national development and models of good behaviour before the rest of India and the world.
If you have a question about my plans on how we will together make Delhi better, please get in touch with me.