Many people agree that the Kejriwal government has brought education into the limelight and infused energy into a moribund system which ran a thousand-odd school in Delhi. But there is a flip side to the feel-good story.
Some photographs of youngsters last year diving into a swimming pool at a government school came into focus in Delhi. This came as a pleasant surprise to a country where state-run primary education mostly conjures pictures of unkempt children sitting on broken desks in dark and gloomy classrooms of rundown buildings. It was just one step in its avowed mission to revolutionize the education sphere in the national capital for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government which is led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
pushing through its agenda of ‘education first’ for the AAP government has been easy with a majority of 67 legislators in the 70-member assembly. However, critics and political opponents see this as a lack of checks and balances which are allegedly leading to questionable decisions defeating the motive of giving quality education to all. the Delhi government has allocated the highest funds For the fifth consecutive year for the education sphere for 2019-20. This is a highly impressive 26 % of the budget, or Rs 13,997 crore. Deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia said that the AAP government has done more for education than any other government in the past.
According to a survey report by the child rights group, CRY, last year, nearly 23 % of children in the age group 11-15 years in urban Delhi-NCR region are dropouts while five % has never been enrolled in any school. Earlier, a selection panel told the Delhi High Court that 77 % of ad hoc teachers of Delhi government schools have failed to secure even the minimum qualifying marks for permanent recruitment. The teaching staff in government schools is guest and contractual teachers who over the past many years have been teaching in the schools.
However, some statistics are undeniable. The results of 2018 CBSE class 12th showcased a pass percentage of 90.68 in government schools, better than the 88.35 % of private institutions and even the national average of 83.01 %. The committee is now preparing the school development plan and deciding on how the contingency fund needs to be spent.
By: Preeti Narula