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‘We now need to be consistent’

She was faced with host of embarrassing statistics, when she took over as the education secretary in 2005. Rina Ray has engineered a dramatic turnaround since then. Excerpts from a chat with Ritika Chopra:
Hindustan Times | By Ritika Chopra
UPDATED ON MAY 22, 2009 11:44 PM IST

What was the state of government schools in 2005?

Things were pretty bad. The drop out rate up to Class VIII was 50 percent and 52 per cent of students were failing in Class X. Our system was failing and the Planning Commission had recommended that we hand over our schools to the private sector or NGOs.

What drove you to turn things around?
In 2005, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam decided to hand over the government school on the President’s Estate to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He was unhappy with the way it was being run. I had joined recently and asked for some more time to turn it around. That school was the first challenge and with that the whole reformation process started.

What is the biggest challenge that they face now?
We now need to ensure that we stay where we are and be consistent with our achievements.

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