Education Minister Ms. Atishi on Tuesday delivered the keynote address at the conference “Stories of Change – Changing Behaviours, Transforming Education Systems”. The conference was organised by SCERT Delhi and the Centre for Intrinsic Motivation at the India Habitat Centre. While addressing the educators at the conference, Ms. Atishi said that in the past 8 years, Delhi’s education system has undergone a massive transformation that has reinstated the belief of the people in the public education system. Along with infrastructural development, teacher training programs like the Teacher Development Coordinator (TDC) program and Mentor Teacher program have played a pivotal role in this journey. During the conference, teachers and students of Delhi government schools also shared their experiences.
The Education Minister said, “Before 2015, people across the country thought that the condition of government schools in the country can never be improved and quality education is only provided in magnificent private schools. But in the last 8 years, many state-of-the-art government schools were built across Delhi, and this reinstated the belief of people in the government education system.”
She said that such a transformation of the government schools in India was never seen before. The fact that now the Delhi government’s Dr. Ambedkar Schools of Specialized Excellence received nearly one lakh applications for 4600 seats is proof that Delhi’s education system has undergone a massive transformation and is providing quality education to the children of Delhi. Ms. Atishi said, “8 years ago there used to be long queues outside private schools for admissions, but this has changed now. Parents have started believing in Delhi’s public education system.”
The Education Minister added that in 2015 when the then Deputy Chief Minister Shri Manish Sisodia and his team started inspecting the schools, they were in an extremely bad shape and dilapidated condition. Teachers were targeted for lack of facilities at schools and this demotivated them. The condition of schools was extremely demotivating for students as well. Researchers who came to the government said that only cash incentives can motivate teachers to work dedicatedly. But today it is a proud moment for everyone in Delhi’s Team Education that the mindset and behavioral change was introduced without any such policy. The Delhi government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal proved that if the government has good intentions, it can bring a massive change in the education system.
She also mentioned that before 2015, government schools were always associated with second-class citizens. But the way world-class infrastructure has now been built in Delhi government schools, has reinstated the confidence of parents, students and teachers. Children studying in government schools of Delhi now proudly mention their government schools. These transformations in Delhi government schools have given parents, students and teachers their due respect and a dignified life.
What did the students say about their journey in the Delhi government schools?
“I came to a Delhi government school from a private school. Teachers in my previous school were extremely strict, thus I always hesitated to question anything in class. But when I got into a Delhi government school, teachers took the place of a mentor and a friend in my life. They heard all my problems and helped me resolve those. I am able to perform well because of the compassionate teachers in my government school.”
–Monishka, a Class 9 student
“I never use to participate in classroom activities thinking, what if I ask a wrong question? What would the teacher think of me and would my classmates make fun of me? I lacked self-confidence. During that time, when I used to see my other classmates answering with confidence in class, I often wondered when I would be able to be like them. I wanted to do things while staying in my comfort zone.”
-Sufia, a Class 9 student
What did the teachers say about their journey in Delhi government schools?
“The TDC program introduced by the Directorate of Education has been life-changing for me. I come from a government school in Mandi village where early marriage was the biggest challenge. But being TDC gave me the confidence to fight back against this. We coordinated with SMCs to motivate parents to send their girls to school. The TDC program has played a very important role in our professional development and growth.”
-Ms Savita, a government school teacher
“I have been part of the TDC since 2018 and ever since then my journey as a teacher has been very smooth. I am able to easily resolve our day-to-day classroom issues through peer support. The TDC program has improved our communication skills and helped us establish better connections with students.”
-Mr. Vinod, a government school teacher