Students who failed classes 9 and 10 all set for final exam, ready to join mainstream schools
“These classes have given me another chance to clear examinations and study again,” said 16-year-old Anjali Sharma from Shashi Garden, who wants to join the Army.Updated: Apr 27, 2019 06:31 IST
On Monday, when students in a government-run educational centre in Mayur Vihar were asked what they aspired to become in life, they had an array of responses ready. Hands went up and answers echoed in the air.
“These classes have given me another chance to clear examinations and study again,” said 16-year-old Anjali Sharma from Shashi Garden, who wants to join the Army.
Sharma is among the 187 students who study at this centre meant for students who have failed to clear their class 9 exam twice and class 10 exam once, and are appearing for their board exams through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Their final paper is scheduled for April 30 and most students are confident of graduating with good grades.
Launched by the Delhi government in 2017, the NIOS project was put in place because its curriculum was considered to be more flexible than that of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Students can opt for relatively easier subjects instead of demanding ones, such as mathematics or science.
But the most interesting part of NIOS centres is that they are run in regular schools so students don’t feel left out. Apart from studies, they also engage in co-curricular activities.
Last year, around 60% of 8,563 students studying here passed their NIOS board examinations, officials said, adding that once they clear their exams, they are readmitted to either their previous school or any government school of their choice in Class 11.
“There have been cases where such students have gone on to become top performers,” said Yadaiah Marka, deputy director of education of NIOS project.
“In regular schools, it becomes challenging for some students to cope with the academic pressure. So students who are slow learners or have behavioural issues tend to suffer,” said Aishwarya Omanakuttan, an English teacher at the Mayur Vihar NIOS centre. She added that teachers at these centres attempt to fill that gap. Students seem to agree.
The teenagers said that studying at the centre was easier since the teachers were willing to explain multiple times unlike regular schools. “These are students whose families have told them that they are a failure. So teachers are asked to use the first fortnight to build a rapport with students and make them believe that they can do this,” said KS Upadhyay, OSD.
The government, however, has faced a fair share of criticism.
“These centres have been doing a disservice to children by pushing them out of mainstream schools and telling them they will get readmission in regular schools. In reality, very few students manage to secure readmission,” said advocate Ashok Aggarwal, who has filed petitions against such centres.
Earlier this month, directorate of education told Delhi HC that in 2017-18, 1,55,736 students had failed in classes 9 to 12. Of these, 82,153 were accommodated in regular classes, Patrachar Vidyalaya and NIOS centres.
There are 95 such centres across Delhi.