Delhi Gov’t Looks to Values, Private Sector to Improve Schools


Schools in Delhi, India are undergoing an overhaul funded by the Delhi Government. Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister, Manish Sisodia says the goal is to change the education system at its roots:

“We are working towards promoting the role of a teacher as pilot of the education system and rest all including the Education Minister and other senior officials in the Education Department are the support staff.”

Poor infrastructure is one of the biggest pains government-run schools in Delhi face. As Sisodia says:

“We are working towards providing single-window clearance for ease of doing business in the city.”

Sisodia commented that government schools are “in pathetic condition,” while private schools are fixated on “minting money”.

Manish welcomes the help of the private sector in government’s efforts to provide students with quality education:

“We need private sector’s support not only in monetary terms but in terms of implementing the ideas and other related factors,” writes.

One of the immediate steps taken by the Indian Education Minister was to subsidize government school teachers’ enrollment in vipassana, a meditation course. Both students and teachers can participate in the meditation program which aims to strengthen trainees’ personality and help them manage stress better.

The 10-day course for teachers that decide to enroll in the vipassana course is still not planned. According to the Education Director Padmini Singla, the Delhi government first needs to have a list of teachers that want to attend the course before they begin planning it.

Teachers attending will be considered on duty and the vipassana course sessions will take place at Pune Centre, which according to Padmini Singla, is hosting the event free of charge.

In early April, education department officials attended a workshop in Manviya Shiksha Shodh Sansthan according to the Indian Express.  The workshop which focuses on “ensuring values through education” is organized by the heads of government schools, members of GSTA and other registered teacher groups, all with collaboration with the Directorate of Education, the Indian Express reports. The workshop was an initiative ordered by the government. Senior teachers will also attend workshops in Madyasth Darshan Jeevan Vidya.

All heads of schools are obliged to attend the one-day course as directed by the Education Department. Som Bhai organization teacher told attendees of the one-day workshop:

“Our education system is not sufficient to meet the needs of today’s children… they have materialistic and emotional needs. . . . After attending the workshop, you will be assured that a new value-based system of education is possible.”

Teachers that opt in will attend the 10-day camp course in Chhattisgarh with all expenses covered by the government. An attendee commented on the course’s value — and its problems:

“He said some very nice things, but the ground reality is different. It was good to hear, but is very impractical,” one teacher commented. “For more than five hours, he repeated the same message — be good, do good. We already know it,” another educator noted.