Delhi may well gets its own education board, if the Arvind Kejriwal government has its way with a major revamp of the Capital’s education system.
“We need a separate education board for Delhi with a syllabus independent of the prescribed syllabus in CBSE. I am not saying CBSE or NCERT are not doing their job but we need a board that will cater to the needs and requirements of Delhi’s students. We are working towards it and will soon work out a syllabus based on the suggestions of education experts,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia told a gathering of over 1,500 principals and teachers of government schools on Saturday.
Pointing to problems in the current system, Kejriwal said, “We need to bring two major changes — improvement of infrastructure and quality of education. If we can impart better education, then within one generation we can eradicate poverty and unemployment and develop this city.”
There are close to 1,000 schools under the Delhi government where 16 lakh students are enrolled. Questions of whether private schools would be brought under the new board went unanswered as government sources said the plan was still at a nascent stage. “There is no time frame yet, nor do we have a blueprint. The government is planning to implement it during its five years of service to the people,” one source said.
The chief minister, however, urged government school principals to turn their institutions into model schools on par with private schools. “There is only one parameter of a model school, a government school to which we can send our kids. Even 90% of government school principals send their children to private schools,” he said.
As part of the revamp, Sisodia also spoke of amendments to the Delhi Education Act and Rules (1973). “The act has become obsolete and it requires rewriting so that newer ideas and rules can be added to it. This will be another plan that we will be working towards.”
Kejriwal assured the school heads that education was a top priority for his government and he was committed to improving the condition of schools in Delhi.
Education expert SK Bhattacharya, however, said Delhi schools had been affiliated with CBSE for several decades now and there was no reason to change it, unless the government had a strong proposal. “A similar proposal was mooted by the government around 15 years ago but it did not materialise because of irregularities. The current government will need a comprehensive plan to make this a success,” he said.