New Delhi, April 21, 2017: To fulfill the promise of better and corruption-free education, the Aam Aadmi Party Government has passed a bunch of bills to introduce major reforms in Delhi’s education system including- the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Bill) 2015, the Delhi School Education ( Amendment) Bill 2015 and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill which scraps the no-detention policy from entry level classes.
According to the Delhi’s Deputy CM and Education Minister Manish Sisodiya, it was necessary to bring these changes in the present education system because “in the present, nobody could run a private school without engaging in cheating or corruption”.
But how much work has actually happened?
Educationists have already shown concerns about AAP’s scheme from the very beginning. The party has been directed by the Delhi high Court to defend its education reform plan ‘Chunauti 2018’, after a plea alleged that the policy excludes primary school students. Many such controversies have always followed the education reform issue.
The ‘Chunauti 2018’ plan, introduced by the Directorate of Education, specifies the method to assess and guide students from 6 to 9 with an aim of improving learning levels. According to opposing pleas, the emphasis is more on school buildings, teachers and toilets rather than learning.
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Assessment has shown huge learning deficits as well. Also, a test conducted by the government indicated that 74% of class 6 students could not read or write Hindi texts, proving the existence of major loopholes in the primary education system.
Credit should be given where it is due.
It is noteworthy that Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has realised that improving education is very much needed and AAP is earnest to make an impact. But misdirected efforts can lead to fruitless results, and at the end effort or potential becomes secondary, only the result counts. In the name of a corruption-free education, AAP seems much more interested in the competition between government schools and the private schools, as proven by the CBSE Class 12 result out hype.
So where exactly are the reforms headed?
Many government schools do not offer critical and difficult core subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology. How can Government schools claim to be doing their jobs unless they offer these science stream subjects to interested students?
NewsGram, in order to do a reality check, contacted Naveen Kumar Uppal former District In-charge of West Delhi School Management Committee ( a task force made by Delhi Govt to employ and oversee the reforms and SMC functioning) and also an AAP volunteer.
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According to Naveen Uppal” “Arvind Kejriwal had said that within five years they will make sure that the government schools become more developed than private schools. As he is not able to actually follow that road, even after saying all that, he is opting for such hype.”
“He even talked about his experiences as a district in-charge SMC, when the authorities were mute about their numerous complaints about corrupted school principal of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Chand Nagar, Rajouri Garden and much more such incidents.
According to Uppal, there has been very little concrete work, AAP has just been busy with media hype. “The conditions of the schools actually have not changed much,” he added.
Uppal also points out to the wastage of crores of rupees being spent on housekeeping of schools, yet the facilities are not available much. Authorities have been silent about these complaints as well. “We all want what’s best for the society. Something good and concrete must happen,” he added.
A number of people believe that AAP actually lacks a solid planning to execute something as big as this. Allegedly, all the chairpersons in the School Management Committees are AAP volunteers who are either portrayed as Social workers or MLA representatives. One can easily get their names from Delhi Govt. run schools and trace their history as AAP volunteers.
Also, it is very much evident that AAP has a very hostile relationship with the private schools in Delhi. Parents in Delhi have hardly got any relief with respect to admission processes in private schools.
The BJP on Monday held Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the death of a sanitation worker in a drain saying that the government was playing with their lives as they are not given protective gear.
“This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. Due to the negligence of the government, sanitation staff goes for cleaning sewers and dies there after inhaling toxic fumes. They are never saved even after rescue operations,” Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari told reporters here.
His remarks come a day after a sanitation worker choked to death after he got trapped inside an underground drain while cleaning it in north Delhi’s Jahroda area.
The work of cleaning the drain was being carried out by the Delhi government’s flood control department.
“Sanitation workers are our helpers and Kejriwal government is playing with their lives,” he said.
Highlighting the deaths of sanitation workers in Delhi in the past few years, the BJP MP from the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency said that in September 2018, five sanitation workers died while in August 2017, 10 died inside sewers.
“Kejriwal is responsible for the deaths of sanitation workers who die while cleaning sewers and the investigating agencies should take action against him,” he said.
Attacking Kejriwal, Tiwari said, “During the last three to four years, more than 60 workers have died.”
He also accused Kejriwal of not fulfilling his promise of providing safety equipment to sewer workers and mechanical sweeping.
A senior Delhi Police official said that it has registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code over the death of the sanitation worker.
The sanitation worker has been identified as Kishan, 37, a resident of north Delhi’s Wazirabad area.