Sisodia sets the ball rolling on education reforms

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2015 01:02 IST

Working overtime, making presentations and brainstorming has already got underway at the Directorate of Education (DOE).

The deputy chief minister and education minister, Manish Sisodia, has promised that he will take up all the plans that were set rolling last year in addition to the promises made this year.

In a review meeting with officials from DOE on Monday evening, Sisodia asked the officials for a presentation on the plan of action for the promises made in the manifesto.

The government school survey, where the infrastructure and cleanliness in schools was checked, may start again as one of the government’s key promises is to bridge the gap between government and private schools.

The government is also planning to set up a more robust grievance redressal system, most likely in the form of a helpline like last year so that stakeholders can have a say. The existing grievance redressal system exists only online.

According to the party’s manifesto, the budget allocation for the education sector will be increased.

As per the party’s promise, at least 20% of the annual state budget should be spent on the education sector.
The biggest and seemingly the toughest promise to follow through on for the government will be the promise of starting 500 new schools and 20 new colleges.

If only the promise of new schools is considered, it means that the government will have to start a new school every three to four days — something that seems very improbably. Similarly, building 20 colleges from scratch in five years is a very challenging task.

“The promises made are very challenging. The department has prepared a plan on what is actionable. We will be looking up to the minister for his inputs as well,” a government official said.

Last year, the government had also made a proposal to reserve seats for Delhi students in Delhi University colleges funded by the Delhi government — something that did not go down too well with the varsity.

This time around, the party wants that the 20 new colleges that it plans to open should be a part of Delhi University, which already has 63 undergraduate colleges under it. The demand for reservations for Delhi students has not been discussed this time so far.

The one promise that has delighted teachers is the end to contractual and temporary jobs. The party has promised that all posts in schools will be regularised.

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