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How 54 model schools in Delhi are making a difference

State of Schools Updated: Sep 06, 2016 17:11 IST
Heena Kausar

Students take part in various activities at Government Girls Senior Secondary School in New Kondli, Delhi, which is one of the AAP government’s model schools. (Sushil Kumar/HT Photo)

Ever since Class IX student Chanda’s school got a facelift, her joy has known no bounds. She is no longer greeted by the sight of dirty classrooms, flakes of paint peeling off of the walls.

Government Girls Senior Secondary School in New Kondli is among the 54 government schools selected as a model or pilot school. The AAP government plans to bring them on par with private schools.

These schools were selected after principals submitted proposals on how to improve their schools.

“My school doesn’t look like a government school any more. Ever since it became a model school, our teachers have become more attentive. My biggest achievement in the last year was becoming fluent in English. My parents are so proud of me,” says Chanda.

The government has taken several steps to bring about this drastic change in the school.

Infra boost

The dilapidated buildings have got a facelift and new classrooms have been built. “Clean classrooms and modern infrastructure helps boost students’ confidence. Parents also feel proud of the school. This is just the first of a series of steps to be taken to bring about this change,” said BK Sharma, principal, Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Lajpat Nagar, which was established in 1948.

Most schools hope to finish the construction by December.

Teachers, students upbeat

Students said ever since the school turned model, teachers have become more responsible and focus more on teaching. “Our teachers are more attentive now. Even we feel we need to perform well now,” said a student.

Seema Roy Choudhary, principal, New Kondli girls school, said, “We teach both English and Hindi. We need to make sure students learn to communicate well. We hold many activities such as the mock Parliament session.”

The school has seen a jump in admissions from around 3,600 last year to over 4,000 this year.

Focus on extra-curricular activities

The directorate of education has started a special programme under which experts are teaching students music, dance (classical and contemporary), theatre, fine arts (including craft), creative writing, and photography.

“Students are coming to school regularly to learn these subjects. We have two batches of 50 students learning theatre and music,” said an east Delhi school principal requesting anonymity.

Some principals claimed even students from nearby private schools are enrolling in model schools.

“We admitted around 50 students from private schools. Parents and students are slowly realising they are getting facilities on a par with private schools,” said Meena Kumari, principal of Sarvodya Kanya Vidyalaya, Zeenat Mahal, Jafrabad. The school has around 5,000 students on its rolls.

Simmering discontent

However, many feel the changes are cosmetic, with the problem of teacher shortage has not been addressed.

“Who will plan these fancy activities for the students when there are no teachers. We have to teach three groups of students in every class. But there is no additional support,” said a teacher from a model school in west Delhi.

Model school features

  • No. of model schools: 54
  • Infrastructure: Up to Rs 25 crore allocated for construction of new classrooms, repair of existing building
  • Teacher training: Principals and teachers sent on a 12-day training session to Cambridge University and five-day training session to IIMS
  • Extra-curricular activities: Classes by external experts on music, dance (classical and contemporary), theatre, fine arts (including craft), creative writing and photography
  • Vocational education: Courses in retail, travel and tourism, information and technology (IT), beauty and wellness, financial market management, and security introduced in model and 150 other schools.

Mishaps in government schools

  • June 2015: On three different days, a moving fan fell on students at a govt school in Pushp Vihar.
  • August 2016: Plaster and building material fell from the ceiling at a government school in north-west Delhi’s Mubarakpur Dabas.
  • July 2015: Four girls injured after coming in touch with a naked wire at Government Girl’s Senior Secondary School at Shahbad Dairy.

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