Delhi Education Conference kicks off today, to last until January 17 which will see 22 education experts from India and 7 other countries*
*Report lauding Delhi Government’s education reforms released by Boston Consulting Group; shared key takeaways that the Govt. worked on to empower the state’s public education system*
*Craft a conscientious society and citizens in our classrooms, that is our ultimate goal: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia*
*Goal is to develop a strong mindset amongst students, so they become passionate and confident citizens with a commitment to drive change in the country: Sisodia*
New Delhi January 11,2021: The Delhi Education Conference organised by the Delhi Government kicked off today. This seven-day conference will be running until 17 January, 2021. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said that it is the Delhi Govt.’ dream that education should be the way of thinking and living of the country.
“In the last five years, under the leadership of Hon. Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, we have achieved a lot of success in creating excellent infrastructure of schools, teachers training, and an improved children’s result. But the real success will be when every child leaves the school with a passion to do something for their country and commit to driving a change. They should be conscientious human beings entering the workforce,” Sisodia said.
Sisodia said, “The ultimate goal is to transform the society. To have citizens who’re true committed patriots with an entrepreneurial mindset and will contribute to the country.”
The conference kicked off today at SKV, Nehru Enclave, Kalkaji. At the launch, an independent study report on Delhi’s education reforms in the last five years was also released by the Boston Consulting Group. Titled ‘School Education Reforms in Delhi 2015-2020’, this report detailed the major reforms undertaken by the Delhi government. It was presented by Shoikat Roy, Project Leader, Social Impact- BCG.
The report pointed out that at least 95 percent plus parents and teachers believed that the quality of education has improved in the Delhi government schools. It also highlighted that the Education Dept. was able to bridge the gap between local communities and schools by engaging all the stakeholders. This led to an increase in parent engagement by reinforcing their faith in the public education system.
Moreover, the report highlighted Delhi government’s seven key initiatives. Initiatives like Chunauti and Mission Buniyaad that empowered the students on a grassroots level by involving teachers and parents alike. Strengthening the SMCs, increased parent engagement, teacher professional development, and enabling head of schools were some of the initiatives that positively shaped the system.
The report also referred to the substantial increase in the budget for education from INR 7,500 crore in 2014-15 to INR 15,100 crore in 2019-20, without reduction in budget in other departments. It also lauded the introduction of happiness and entrepreneurship curriculums – which enhanced the students’ critical thinking, encouraged mindfulness and emotional learning and focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset among them.
This was followed by a panel discussion led by some of the key architects of Delhi reforms – Dy CM Sisodia, Atishi, Hon’ble MLA and Former Advisor to Dy CM, Padmini Singla, former director education, H. Rajesh Prasad, Pr. Secretary (Education) and Chairperson SCERT, Saumya Gupta, former director education (who joined in digitally from Agartala), Udit Prakash, Director Education and Shailendra Sharma, Pr. advisor to director education. The session was moderated by Seema Bansal, regional practice area leader for Social Impact in Asia Pacific, BCG.
Over 5,000 people joined in the online session for the panel discussion.
Atishi said that politics was a means of reforms. “When we started off in 2015, we realised that any government can do it. But the issue is that no one wants to do it and that there was a lack of political will,” she said. But it was the CM and Dy CM’s leadership and commitment that moved them in the right direction to implement reforms, she added.
“CM Arvind Kejriwal made education a priority for the Delhi government. DY CM Sisodia visited government schools at seven in the morning on a daily basis – it was a very top-to-bottom belief,” Atishi added.
H. Rajesh Prasad also weighed in on the education reforms in Delhi. He said that this success was achieved only because of a strong leadership and belief to transform education. Udit Prakash (Director, Education) said that Dy CM Sisodia was wholly committed to education. “Earlier, there was no common vision or goal. But now, there’s a sense of pride in the teachers and students. This is the main hallmark of the reforms,” he said.
Padmini Singla said that after becoming the Minister of Education in February 2015, Sisodia committed his vision to transforming education. “It was a big responsibility to spend 25 percent of Delhi’s budget on education,” she said.
Shailendra Sharma added that one of the key success points was developing trust amongst parents towards schools, and vice versa. By forming SMCs, and organising regular Parent-Teaching Meetings, they were able to break the general distrust of the public education system.
Sisodia also discussed reimagining the role of SMCs in a post-Covid era. “We want to focus on amplifying the role of SMCs in the post-Covid era, and bridge the gap between parents and schools further,” he said.
The panel discussion was followed by Lucy Crehan’s keynote lecture. Crehan has written a book titled ‘Clever Lands’ after studying the education system of five countries deeply. She said, “No education system becomes top performing, let alone equitable, by focusing on educating just a minority of students to high levels.” She added that teachers need to have autonomy regarding when they need to teach and what they need to teach. “Only then can the children keep pace with the classroom teaching. The Delhi government has been able to make classroom teaching more efficient and I guess that’s crucial.”
Over the week, the conference will see 22 education experts from India and seven other countries, who will discuss the public education systems around the world. These include experts from India, USA, Finland, England, Germany, Singapore, Netherlands and Canada.
By Lipakshi Seedhar: Staff Correspondent.