A Government School Building in New Delhi. Photo: Rakesh Raman

A Government School Building in New Delhi. Photo: Rakesh Raman

10 Steps to Save Education in the Schools of Delhi

By Rakesh Raman

Rakesh Raman

Rakesh Raman

There is no denying the fact that the schools in Delhi are facing existential crisis because of the poor quality of education and freewheeling culture in them.

We know that the political setup headed by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has completely failed to bring order to the chaos in schools.

However, now there is a ray of hope. Of late, the Delhi High Court has clarified that Delhi is a union territory and the lieutenant governor (LG) Najeeb Jung is its administrative head.

As Kejriwal and his government had become a major hurdle in the development of Delhi including the education in schools, Mr. Najeeb Jung can now work independently to save the education in schools.

Here are the 10 steps that he can take to improve the quality of school education:

1. Bureaucratic Agility

It is observed that the conventional bureaucracy and traditional bureaucrats who are currently managing the Delhi school education affairs are not quite competent. They are largely responsible for the sorry plight of the schools.

They must immediately be replaced with professional educationalists who have proven record in the field of education. This step is required to bring agility in the system that has become too inefficient and tardy.

2. Laissez-faire Working

Enough is enough. Now all political people who belong to Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) should be kept at an arm’s length and should not be allowed to meddle in the education affairs. They have already done enough damage in schools with their hype-driven mischiefs. They do not have any domain expertise in the evolving education services sector.

3. Schools Construction

The AAP politicians are trying to hoodwink the Delhi voters by saying that they were constructing more school rooms. They do not understand that a school building is not a school. Rather, a school means the education in schools which is not happening. Delhi does not need more schools. Delhi needs more quality of education. So, all school construction projects must be stopped without any delay.

4. Termination of Teachers

Now it is an open secret that Delhi school teachers are good for nothing. They do not possess the requisite knowledge and skills to teach students. They must be asked to appear for a carefully designed test and personal interview to evaluate their communication skills and ability to teach in the modern digitally driven world.

Only those teachers should be retained who clear the test and interview comprehensively. The services of other teachers must be terminated immediately. New teachers should be appointed on the basis of their academic record and performance in the similar test and interview.

5. Removal of Students

It is estimated that nearly 90% of the students in government schools are not capable to learn. Students in Class 10 and Class 12 are so weak in studies that they are not fit to sit even in the primary classes.

They use schools as recreation centers and to get monetary allowances given by the government. This is evident from the exceedingly high number of failures in Class 9 while students are promoted without clearing the exams in the lower classes.

As the government is unnecessarily wasting public money on the duffers, they have become a huge burden on the state exchequer. They should also be asked to appear in properly created tests for their respective classes and those students who fail to clear the test must be asked to leave the school. The focus should be on the quality of students, not on quantity.

6. Syllabus Revamp

The syllabuses of all classes are so stale and unstructured that they have no utility at all in the increasingly competitive job market. For example, many branches of mathematics – such as Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus – must not be in the syllabus because most humanities- and management-based careers do not demand their knowledge.

Only those students who opt for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) streams should be taught different branches of mathematics.

Plus, there is another major problem. When a student in Class 10 and above cannot solve simple arithmetic problems involving addition and subtraction, how can you expect them to understand complex mathematics? Majority of the students in government as well as private schools face this problem. There are many other flaws in syllabuses of different subjects in all classes.

7. Utility of Books

The books for all classes are so haphazard and useless that they cannot teach the related subjects to the students. School teachers and government officials in Delhi’s education department have completely failed to suggest the required restructuring of syllabuses and content of the books. They also lack knowledge to suggest remedial changes.

That’s why students who study these irrelevant books based on stale syllabuses fail to get the right job and progress in their careers. Today, there are numerous cases in India when graduates, postgraduates, and even Ph.D. degree holders are not able to get even peons’ posts.

There should be uniform syllabus and same set of books for all government, government-supported, and private schools in Delhi.

8. Private Schools Regulation

All private schools must be suitably regulated by the government. The quality of teaching in most private schools is worse than even government schools. While they charge exorbitant fees from students, private schools are being run as roadside shops. Government should closely monitor the quality of teaching, the skills of teachers, and fees in private schools.

9. Threat of Private Tuitions

As school teachers are incompetent and cannot teach properly, they ask students to attend private tuitions which are mostly offered by semi-literate people. They fleece ignorant parents while the student hardly gets benefited.

Although the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act prohibits private tuitions, these are spreading like a dreaded disease in Delhi. The services of teachers who offer or ask students to attend private tuitions must be terminated. Similarly, the students who attend tuitions should be removed from the school.

If the education of students has to depend on shady private shops, why should the government spend tax payers’ money on schools and school teachers?

10. Complaints Monitoring System

Today, there is no system in place where students and their parents could file their complaints against the erring teachers or other hassles in schools. All schools must be asked to provide a formal system through which students and parents could file their complaints or offer suggestions.

The system should exist in physical as well as digital forms. It should give a formal acknowledgement to the complainant and the government should monitor the complaints to take corrective measures.

All these steps are like a bitter medicine for the sick school education system in Delhi, but these are required to be taken to revive the system sooner rather than later. Will it happen?

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government award-winning journalist and runs free schools for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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