A DELEGATION OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS FROM MADHYA PRADESH VISITS DELHI TO UNDERSTAND DELHI’S EDUCATION REFORMS AND INTERACTS WITH SHRI MANISH SISODIA, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER AND MINISTER OF EDUCATION, GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI.
New Delhi, March 1, 2019: A delegation of education department officials from Madhya Pradesh Government visited Delhi to understand Delhi’s outstanding education reforms and interacted with Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Education, Government of Delhi, Shri Manish Sisodia. Earlier today, the Madhya Pradesh delegation led by Director of Education visited schools and SCERT and had talks with the Delhi’s Education Secretary and officials from the Directorate of Education, SCERT along with principals and teachers in the government schools in Delhi.
While expressing the desire of Madhya Pradesh Government to understand and learn from the exemplary initiatives of Delhi Government in education, the officials lauded the revolutionary changes that the present government brought in to radically revitalize the primary and secondary education in Delhi. The delegation was exploring the scope of learning and replicating the transforming education model in Delhi, in the unique context of Madhya Pradesh characterized by a huge structure and at the same time affected by accessibility issues. They also apprised the Deputy Chief Minister about many schemes that Madhya Pradesh Government launched to reforms the school education.
Sisodia briefly summarized the initiatives taken by the Delhi government in the education sector since 2015. According to him, the most effective step that the Delhi government had taken was empowering the teachers and principals through training programs and involving them actively in the policy decisions. “It not only motivated the teachers but also significantly improved the morale and confidence of the teachers”, he said. “We believe in transforming the country through education. We live education”, he added. Delhi government organized continuous consultations with principals and teachers and respected their wisdom in understanding the classroom dynamics and requirements, instead of going by the recommendations of the experts. “This consultative process generated a sense of ownership of schools among the principals and teachers,” he told.
Principals were unprecedentedly empowered and given financial powers and the right to hire the required manpower with checks and balances. Best teachers were identified and tasked to prepare a learning guide to standardize the curricular activities. This multi-layer exercise in a consultative ambiance – ‘Pragati’, in fact, boosted the morale of the teachers and prevented the commercial interests of corporate publishers in preparing such materials.
Deputy Chief Minister also elaborated another unique initiative – Mentor Teachers’ Program. For this program, teachers were identified through a fair process; given training and in return, they trained and motivated the fellow teachers. It created a space for mutual understanding and peer group learning among the teachers. Principals and teachers were sent abroad for quality training to acquire the knowledge and skills of curricular development, classroom dynamics and institutional management.
Shri Sisodia attributed these achievements as the outcome of honest politics and unparallel political will to translate ideas into action. “Politics must be on the basis of education”, he told. He categorically stated that a government must be assessed on the basis of its tangible policy achievements, rather than sectarian ideals. He also narrated his personal efforts to monitor and streamline the massive infrastructure development as well as teacher training programmes. He regularly visited the schools and attended most of the training programmes along with his team. In order to improve quality of education, Delhi government introduced happiness and entrepreneurship curricula – first of its kind initiatives in India.
Shri Sisodia enthusiastically accepted the invitation to collaborate with the government of Madhya Pradesh to improve the education system there. He acknowledged it as an honorable call to contribute to the nation building, beyond any ideological constraints. He also suggested that instead of blindly replicating, the good models need to be customized in accordance with the contextual requirements. “Both governments can plan teacher exchange programs to facilitate better understanding”, he told.