Delhi virtual model school to begin with 200 students in classes 9 and 11

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had had announced in his budget speech in March that the Delhi government will set up virtual schools “from next year” to facilitate easy learning for students from across the country who wanted to benefit from “Delhi model of education”.
The school will cater to students interested in studying from home, such as sportspersons, artists or school dropouts. (Raj K Raj/HT)
The school will cater to students interested in studying from home, such as sportspersons, artists or school dropouts. (Raj K Raj/HT)
Published on Aug 17, 2021 11:35 PM IST
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New Delhi: The state government’s proposed Delhi Virtual Model School (DVMS), which aims to cater to students interested in studying from home, such as sportspersons, artists, or school dropouts, will begin with 200 students in classes 9 and 11 from within Delhi, and will later expand to the other parts of the country, HT has learned.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had had announced in his budget speech in March that the Delhi government will set up virtual schools “from next year” to facilitate easy learning for students from across the country who wanted to benefit from “Delhi model of education”.

“Initially, the school will begin with about 200 students in classes 9 and 11, and later expand to other classes. Similarly, at the beginning, the focus will be on students residing within Delhi and it will progressively expand to the other parts of the country at a later stage,” said an official document from the education department on the project, which was reviewed by HT. The document doesn’t state by when the virtual school will be launched.

“Teaching-learning in the virtual school will comprise of two elements- synchronous learning, in which students will connect with teachers through live online classes; and asynchronous learning, in which students will refer to audio-visual and textual content to enhance mastery over their subjects of choice,” it further stated.

The schools will be governed by the Delhi Schools of Specialized Excellence Society and will be affiliated with the newly formed Delhi Board of Secondary Education (DBSE), which had recently signed a collaboration agreement with the International Baccalaureate board to develop its course curriculum.

The education department has issued tenders inviting external partners to bid for the operationalisation process, which includes creating learning management system (LMS), teacher training modules, establishing and maintaining two high-quality production studios for recording or live streaming lectures, along with other logistics and operations. The bids will be closed later this month.

Under DVMS, the document said, the evaluation of learning goals will be conducted through “technology assisted assessments, which will be conducted on the LMS and, if necessary, at designated assessment centres across the city”. Students will also be assessed through quizzes, assignments, live assessments, and proctored examinations.

According to the plan, the education department will set up a scalable LMS platform which can be accessed on various devices, including phones, tablets and laptops.

It will also host an array of teaching-learning functions, ranging from live-streaming sessions which will be saved in a virtual library along with other learning content; creating and sharing documents like worksheets, slides, and projects; assigning and evaluating paperless assignments; maintaining the class calendars; conducting virtual conversations; and creating an artificial intelligence-based interface to create a personalised flow based on the learning level of each student.

The plan document said that all teachers and students will have a unique ID provided by the school administration which will be registered on the domain.

“All student devices should have AI-enabled applications for online content. This application should have an LMS system to track the learning growth of students,” the document stated.

The teacher training programme will include elements on the usage of online platforms and IT infrastructure; lesson planning, content and assignment creation; incorporation of multimedia content in teaching pedagogy; and soft skills for conducting online classes.

A senior official of the education department said, “There will a combination of senior experienced teachers of the Delhi government schools as well as external experts who will be roped in to conduct classes for the students. While we will start with 200 students, it can go up to any number in later stages. Admission process will be finalised once we rope in our partner organisations.”

Educationist Meeta Sengupta said the Delhi government will have to work on the credibility and acceptance of the school. “The idea behind virtual schools is to create a legitimate option for those students who cannot opt for mainstream education. However, the outcome from the virtual school has to be good enough to attract students who are looking for opportunities after school. The government should also focus on teachers’ training as teachers will have to shift their mindset and value the multi-lens approach of teaching-learning. The government could also link these schools to the new Skill University so that various choices can open up for students,” she said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kainat Sarfaraz covers education for Hindustan Times in Delhi. She also takes keen interest in reading and writing on the intersections of gender and other identities.

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