The Delhi education model has caught people's attention in Delhi in the last five years. Validating this model provides now a direction for the next phase of reforms. By initiating a concerted and comprehensive effort to restore a dysfunctional public education system, the government has laid a strong foundation for what really promises to be a 'School Revolution'. The Government's first initiative within days of coming to power in 2015 was to increase the allocation in the budget for education.
According to an RBI report of state budgets, Delhi government allocated around 25% of its overall expenditure to education in recent years, the highest for any state in India and well above the average of 15.6% for India.
The Government has worked actively to push forward its dream on four major aspects:
1. Modernising reforms
government has already constructed 21 new schools and will build more in the years to come. This will address Delhi's government school's infrastructure needs for the next decade.
The increased expenditure helped the Government to resolve the acute shortage of classrooms as a matter of urgency. For this, more than 8,000 classrooms were built and over 10,000 more classrooms will be built within a few years.
The government has renovated the entire school buildings of 54 pilot schools and has started work to extend this to all schools in a phased manner. The school's interior has been rendered unrecognizable by new fibre benches, projectors and screens, a fresh coat of paint, and granite-coated walls.
Managers: Services booster
Many of Delhi government schools' estate managers are former military servants who want to continue serving society. A four-worker dedicated sanitation workers with mechanized floor cleaners and other modern equipment ensured a significant increase in school cleanliness standards.
2. Ability Building Training Staff and Executives
Teacher Learning and School leadership development
Teacher learning is an operation conducted by the State Council for Study and Training in Education (SCERT). The Principal Leadership Development Program was launched in 2016, where groups of ten facilitator-assisted Principals meet once a month to participate in a discussion on the challenges of becoming a school leader and figure on ways to resolve them together. They visited different University around the world; IIM Ahmedabad; and other models of excellence in India. The exposure to new pedagogy and leadership training enabled Delhi to gradually move away from a uniform training model for all to learn from the best practices in India and abroad.
Increasing accountability for school administration
Across the country, government schools have been notorious for lacking discipline or seriousness in running the school. In Delhi the government has adopted three levels of oversight and control to resolve a structural inactivity. Education minister himself frequently inspects the schools. Directorate of Education (DoE), District officials have supervised and tracked the management of schools that fall under their districts. The third and most important supervision step has been through a wide network of school management committees.
3. School Management Committees
The Right to Education Act 2009 mandates the school management committees or SMCs. An SMC is a body consisting of a school's parents and teachers, who are expected to control and assist the school's affairs. The main aim of SMCs is to bridge the obvious gap between government, education, and society. Through allowing the parents take full control of school education. The Delhi SMCs model was extremely successful.
Mega Parent Teacher Meetings (PTMs) are another way the government has engaged parents in their children education. The first such PT took place in July 2016 during which, for the first time, thousands of parents joined schools for their children. PTMs have been a common occurrence for many years in top private schools but have only existed on paper in government schools. Since then this activity has become permanent equipment in all state schools.
4. Improving Learning Outcomes
“Every Child Can Read” Campaign
The Government launched the campaign 'Every Child Can Read' on 5 September 2016. A comprehensive attempt has been done at every government school to teach children to read and the results have been very promising. Most government schools in Delhi are senior high schools, running from Classes 6 to 12. Children who reach Class 6 for the first time from an MCD school have significant learning disabilities, which were expressed in a government-led Baseline assessment for two consecutive years. 74 % of all Class 6 students were unable to read their textbooks at grade level in 2016. More than one lakh children across Delhi switched from being non-readers to readers over an 8-week stretch. Over 1000 Reading Melas were held in the capital, where community leaders (young and old) volunteered on weekends to help children read.
Mentor Teacher Program
The government's long-term aim is to develop teachers' capacities and provide them with encouragement by introducing them to new teaching methodologies and pedagogy. The Mentor Teacher Program has played a vital role in providing teachers academic support.
Indian-American Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee was the catalyst behind the "Chunauti" education reform scheme of the Delhi government to put a check on the student’s dropout levels, Delhi chief minister accept this work of Abhijit Banerjee which has helped the shortfall of children studying at govt schools in Delhi.