Govt to work on enhance teacher training and cutting dropout rates: Manish Sisodia
The first seven-day international education conference held by the Delhi government concluded on Sunday with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia announcing that moving forward, the state government would work on enhanced teacher training, strengthening school management committees (SMCs), working on an interactive curriculum, and cutting dropout rates.
“We are already working on forming a new curriculum and new state board. We also want to examine students graduating from our schools and see what their thoughts are on caste, creed, religion, gender biases, corruption, honest governance and environmental issues. After working on foundation, the question is on how to work on the mindset of students,” the education minister said.
While referring to the issue of students dropping out, Sisodia said, “Struggling children who leave the system to pick up jobs outside is where we need to figure out how skill training can come into play, and how we can provide support to them.”
The week-long conference saw 22 education experts from India and other countries including the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, and Canada. The final day of the conference also saw Andhra Pradesh education minister Audimulapu Suresh highlighting reforms initiated by their government and extending an invitation to the Delhi education team to visit Andhra Pradesh.
“In Andhra Pradesh, in the past 19 months, we allocated 16%-18% out of our total budget to the education department to show our commitment,” Suresh said, while talking about the key reforms in the southern state, including bilingual textbooks from classes 1-6, improved monitoring and regulatory mechanisms, and incentivisation of SMC participation through ‘parent committees’.
Sisodia said, “Education ministers from all states should work together to create better systems for India. I would like to learn from Andhra Pradesh on how regulation and autonomy manifest on the ground through state-level legislation, especially the reformed structure of Anganwadi workers.”
Some of the key takeaways across panel discussions during the week included the link between political will and educational reforms, building inclusive administrative tools to support teacher training, and moving away from ‘heavy content-based syllabi’ to a reduced interactive curriculum.
During the course of the conference, setting up cadre of specialist teachers, collaborative professional development, shared lesson-planning, and providing teachers with agency and autonomy along with increased interaction with parents were suggested as key measures for improvement of school education and teacher training.
“Our focus will now be on further bridging the gap between SMCs and parents by increasing parent participation. The ownership parents have showcased in the past few years has been a positive change for us,” Sisodia said.
The Directorate of Education officials also presented their findings on the low class 9 pass percentage. “Though there was progressive decline in the pass percentage (55.96%) from 2013-14 onwards, the results have been improving from 2016-17 and went up to 64.49% in 2019-2020,” the government said in a statement.
Rajesh Prasad, principal secretary (education), said the national capital was “a fertile ground” to implement the National Education Policy 2020. “Lots of aspects from NEP are already covered in Delhi’s education reforms. It is now time to focus on interactive teaching rather than carrying on examination-oriented teaching and rote-learning to transform the educational landscape of the country,” he said.