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Poor cousins to paradigm busters

delhi Updated: May 22, 2009 23:40 IST
Ritika Chopra

It is their best ever — a pass percentage of over 87 per cent.

The government schools in the Capital have come a long in the last five years. With innovatively designed classrooms and well-trained teachers, they are now giving tough competition to public schools in Delhi in terms of performance.

“The model schools of the Government of Delhi have always had the necessary ingredients for quality in them, both in terms of basic infrastructure and human resource,” said Shyam B. Menon, an education expert who heads the Ambedkar University. “All that was needed perhaps was to spruce up the system and to put their act together.”

And that’s exactly what the Education Department did.

It started with exhaustive teacher training sessions.

The focus on training teachers has grown 10 fold over the last five years. 1n 2007-08, the government trained 51,000 teachers through workshops - a sharp increase from the 4,826 in 2003-04.

“We realised that many of our teachers were not even aware of the CBSE syllabus. We trained them on the simplest of things in these workshops,” said Delhi Education Secretary Rina Ray. “The increase in the number of teachers trained can be positively co-related with the increased achievement level of students.”

If training improved their efficiency, online monitoring of attendance ensured that Delhi government schools have the highest teacher attendance levels in the country.

The result was the slowly diminishing gap between the pass percentage of private and government schools. In 2005, the difference stood at 13 per cent in 2005, which was almost eradicated this year.

The Class XII pass percentage has steadily increased from 77.80 per cent in 2003-04 to 87.14 per cent this year. Innovatively treated classroom spaces, too, have helped.

In 2007, the government spent Rs 2.5 lakh on introducing Building As Learning Aid (BALA) in its classrooms. Under this scheme, classroom walls and furniture were brightly painted and also used as a means to teaching.