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“No child will be left behind” – Deputy CM Manish Sisodia announces ‘Chunauti 2018’

June 29, 2016 07:20 PM

Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Mr Manish Sisodia on Wednesday announced a major school education reform programme titled – Chunauti 2018 – which will enable students studying in government schools, especially Class IX students, to overcome the problems being faced by them due to adverse effects of the No Detention Policy.  

The No Detention Policy, which came into force with the enactment of the Right to Education Act of 2009, has resulted in widespread complacency and a general lack of accountability and responsibility in the system.

Delhi Government, like many other states, has strongly advocated the scrapping of the No Detention Policy (NDP), since it has resulted in widespread complacency, apart from a lack of responsibility and accountability among teachers as well as students.

Infact, the Delhi Legislative Assembly, had on 16th December 2015, passed the The Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015,(Bill No. 15 of 2015), which recommends an amendment in the Right to Education Act 2009, to do way away with NDP.

Since the Central Government has so far not taken any stand on the matter, the Delhi Government has decided to launch a major reform measure like Chunauti 2018.

Class IX students in Delhi face an unfortunate problem as a result of the NDP, since they appear for examinations for which they are wholly underprepared. The learning level deficit causes a disproportionate number of failures in Class IX. While the learning level deficit is not uniquely a Class IX problem, it is these students who become victims of a poorly administered system. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said during the press conference, “Delhi Government is determined to not allow the careers and lives of these students to be scarred by failure for little fault of theirs. The idea behind Chunauti 2018 is that by the year 2018, all students enrolled in Class IX in the academic year 2016-2017, regardless of their learning levels at this point, will be trained and mentored to successfully appear for Class X examinations in 2018. No child will be left behind.

In principle, the Government aims to achieve the following through this program:  

  • Building a strong foundation among all students in reading, writing, arithmetic, etc.
  • Bridging the gap between current learning levels and the academic demands of their Class
  • Focussed practice and learning through worksheets
  • In order to achieve this, Delhi Government is working on multiple levels :
  • Students who have failed twice or more in Class IX, will be provided the option of appearing for Class X exams through the Modified Patrachar Scheme of Examinations (MPSE).
  • The MPSE is especially proposed to ensure retention of children and to minimise the possibility of dropout.
  • The students will be taught by the usual teachers in Government schools and they will be provided with all usual benefits like books, uniforms etc.
  • They will participate in all regular cultural and sports activities of the schools.  They will appear in the class X examination directly (through the Patrachar Vidyalaya of the Directorate of Education, and not through the school).
  • These students will also have the flexibility to drop subjects like Mathematics. On clearing class X exam through Patrachar Vidyalaya, the children will be re-enrolled in regular XI standard in the same parent Government school. 
  • Alternatively, when students have failed Class 9 more than once, they will be provided the option of switching to another school close by, in order to escape the stigma that comes with repeatedly failing.

 For all students from Classes 6 to 9, the Government has decided to regroup all classes based on a Base Line assessment, which will be conducted in the second week of July. Since learning levels vary in all classes, teachers have been directed to deal with classes in different ways. The Government intends for the weakest students to receive special attention from the best teachers, so as to bring them to the level of the rest of the class. The grouping of students based on their learning level is solely for the purpose of enabling the teachers to address the learning needs of different sets of children in a more systematic and effective manner.

Research the world over has demonstrated that ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ is the best way to reduce the learning level deficit among students, and the Government has decided to adopt this approach.

Heads of Schools will map all children who have not cleared the Class IX exam in 2016, and organize One to one sessions between teachers and parents, so that the students can be encouraged to come to school regularly and dissuade them from dropping out. They will hold a Special PTA meeting within the month of July in which parents would be counselled by Heads of Schools and respective teachers. A Special School Management Committee (SMC) Meeting will also be called the week before the Special PTA meeting during which the Heads of Schools will explain the entire concept of Chunauti 2018 to the members of the SMC in order to ensure their cooperation for the implementation of this plan.

One of the major changes to the way content is taught in Delhi Government schools is through the Mentor Teachers program. Over the summer break, Mentor Teachers, a group of 200 teachers led workshops with 24,000 teachers and prepared learning materials for teaching topics in a more lively and energetic way. The Mentor Teachers would support teachers and the Head of the School through guided observations and by giving regular inputs for improved class transactions and with learning material as well, by visiting 5 schools each every week.

The Heads of Schools have been granted full autonomy to hold as many additional classes as needed, to re-design the time table, to hold the classes before or after the school hours on a pro bono basis by regular teachers or through community volunteers in coordination with their School Management Committees and to deploy the guest teachers with additional payments.

Delhi Government is constantly monitoring progress in all its initiatives. The Deputy Chief Minister’s personal dedication to this cause has meant swift progress and a motivated cadre of teachers and administrators. With the wholehearted support of parents of students, we expect to succeed in our ambitious goals of Chunauti 2018, and also work on a long term plan to ensure that we are able to provide affordable and top quality education to students through all Government schools.

 

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