The Delhi government has set an ambitious target for itself for this Children’s Day.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the government was looking to ensure that every student in Classes 6-8 in government-run schools picks up basic reading skills by November 14.
The government’s push comes a month after a survey found that close to half the students in Class 6 in government-run schools couldn’t read at all.
“By November 14 all students in our schools will attain a minimum reading level. The initiative comes after our recent study found that 74% children in Class 6 cannot read and 46% in Class 6 were unable to read textbooks meant for Class 2. It is a problem being faced by all the government schools and we are determined to solve it,” he said.
The government’s survey was conducted among 201,997 students from 1,011 schools. The oral tests revealed 13% of those who took the survey couldn’t even identify the alphabets and only 33% could do a simple three-digit division. The assessment is part of the AAP government’s initiative, Chunauti 2018, to improve the quality of education in government schools.
Sisodia said that the move looks like a small step when compared to talks about scientific education, modern classes and computer education but it was significant. “We must accept reality and work to improve the education standards,” he said.
“You can get fancy books and syllabus, but if the students can’t read them, then what is the use,” he added.
Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister, said that teachers will conduct an internal assessment on November 14 in schools followed by an assessment by District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) students.
“DIET students will be deployed by State Council of Educational Research and Training in schools to assist heads of schools in assessing reading levels between November 15 and November 20. This will complete both internal and external assessment of students,” he said.
Sisodia said that from November 21, schools will be open for a week for visits by parents, SMC members, activists, journalists and other guests.
“People can come to schools with permission from the head of school and see the transformations happening in our classrooms. They can go and see the learning levels themselves,” he said.