May 5, 2019

Fake revolutionary model of Delhi Education

In the last few years, the Delhi Government lead by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has remained in news for the supposed ‘revolution’ it brought about in the education system, particularly in the Government schools in the State. Last year, the government allocated 26% of its budget for the education sector which far more than the education budget in other states of India.

The reality, however, is that the Delhi Government can afford to allocate such a big chunk of its budget for education is because by virtue of being the national capital, the government has more funds and limited areas for expenditure. The per capita income in Delhi is ₹3,65,529 which is thrice the national average of ₹1,25,397. Also, revenue surplus of Delhi was ₹4,913 crores, in contrast to most other states which are under huge amounts of debt because their expenditure is far more than their income. Moreover, Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that it is for the very first time that a Government has allocated such an amount for education is false. In the past, states like Bihar and Meghalaya, amongst others, have also allocated 25% - 30% of their budget for education. Since 2000, Delhi Government has always allocated more than 15% of its budget for education. In 2012-13, the per student expenditure was ₹29,641, which has increased to ₹61,622 in 2017-18. Despite this, its share in GSDP is still less than 2%. This means that even though the budget allocation for education has increased, its share in the GSDP has remained the same.

Even though the allocation is high, the actual expenditure is very low. In 2014-15, 62% of the allocated budget was spent, in 2015-16, 57% and in 2016-17, this figure was 79%. The AAP Government claims to allocate 25-26% of its budget for education but this figure is always reduced in the revised budget.

See the status of Budget allocated in the last financial year 2018-19

The truth behind the ‘revolution’ in the education sector of Delhi

In their election manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the AAP claimed that the Delhi Government has brought about some revolutionary changes in the schooling system of Delhi. However, the reality is that the number of enrollments are decreasing in government schools and there is no visible impact of the same on annual results.

Enrollments –

The number of enrollments are decreasing with every passing year. In between 2013-14 and 2017-18, 1,32,138 students have decreased in total number of enrollment in each session, which is nearly 8%. 

In the 2014-15 batch of 7th standard, 97% of the enrolled students were promoted to the 8th standard in 2015-16. However, when these students were promoted to 10th standard in 2017-18, their percentage had dropped down to 55%. The inference that can be drawn here is that in 9th standard, nearly half of the enrolled students failed and in 11th standard, nearly 33% of them failed. Resultantly, the government projected a good result and took credit for this so called ‘revolution’ without revealing the above stated facts. 

Here, the most important factor is that the population of Delhi is increasing and enrollment in government schools is decreasing instead of increasing.

Here, two things that deserve consideration are:

1.      Delhi Government is trying to deprive students of education in government schools in large numbers, and

2.      The students who fail are not being allowed to enroll themselves again in government schools.

Only in 2018-19, of students who failed between 9th and 12th standard,  66% were not allowed to enroll again. In 9th, 52%; in 11th, 58% and in 12th, 91% of students who failed were denied re-admissions. See information collected by Adv Ashok Aggrawal

Learning Outcome –

The level of education in Delhi, is far less than the national average.

Also, the government took a challenge and students who failed 9th standard were allowed to pursue 10th standard through correspondence. An abysmally low percentage of 2% only could pass from this group of students in 2016-17.  Only 2% of students who dropped out from government schools in 2017-18 took re-admission.  On the basis of data available for the last five years, the passing percentage for students who took a correspondence course is only 4%. (Ref: Praja Foundation report)

The passing percentage for 10th standard in 2017-18 has dropped down to 68.90% from 92.44% in 2016-17. The AAP argued that the reason for this drop was problem in implementing the CBSE syllabus but the fact of the matter is that has been dropping constantly. This is why a large number of students are being deliberately failed in 9th and 11th so as to project a positive result on 10th and 12th standards. Moreover, the students to fail 10th and 12th standards are denied re – admissions.

Last year, the government denied responsibility for a poor result in 10th standard but took full credit for a miniscule improvement in the the result for 12th grade. The entire strategy was exposed by The Print in a report

We can also see a very disturbing trend in a number of appeared students for the 12th Exam each year since AAP came in power-

Even this year, only 1,22,428 students were appeared in 12th exam, while 171613 students were enrolled in class 11th in 2017-18. No one knows where's rest 29% students. 

Science taught only in 28% of schools –

As per a reply received to an RTI, only 28% of government schools in Delhi teach Science. At a time when the need of advancement in science and technology is being felt across the world, schools in Delhi are not even teaching the basic fundamentals of the field.

Unavailability of teachers –

As per report of Times of India, there were vacancies for 33,783 teachers corresponding to nine subjects of which only 19,243 permanent appointments were made, 8,713 appointments were made as temporary guest teachers and 17% of the vacancies are still vacant.  In a press conference held on 6th March, 2019, Education Minister of Delhi, Mr. Manish Sisodia informed that in Delhi, out of 64,000 available vacancies for teachers, 58,000 appointments were made out of which 22,000 were as guest teachers. Even Delhi cabinet has also approved a policy to allow them to work till the age of 60- like regular teachers.

The interesting thing to note here is that 77% of these guest teachers were unable to get minimum pass marks in the examination against vacancies in Delhi Govt Schools.

According to the information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, there are 918 posts of principals in 1,024 Delhi government schools. Some 106 schools don''t have such posts. Out of 918 posts of principals, 595 are lying vacant, the reply revealed.

It said 768 vice principals are holding the charge of the head of the school "due to principals not physically working or some schools have(ing) no post of principal".

Infrastructure –

At the time of assembly elections, AAP promised to open 500 new schools but even after 4.5 years, there is no sign of even 5% of this number even though the government has 82 vacant plots.

As per the reply to an RTI, only 23 new schools have been opened up in Delhi. In contrast, in one year itself, in 2013-14, 12 schools were opened up in Delhi. Out of the 23 new schools which the AAP claims to have opened up, according to a statement issued by former education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, 10 were opened up at the time of the previous government lead by the INC.

In the manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, AAP has claimed that in order to improve education system, infrastructure is needed but for any effective development in that area, Delhi needs complete statehood. But, full statehood is just an excuse. In 2015, AAP claimed that there are 24,157 classrooms in Delhi schools and the Delhi government made 8,213 new classrooms despite all hurdles. Now, when the Delhi Government is able to improve infrastructure as claimed by them, why are they giving and excuse of full statehood to Delhi?

The Delhi government has spent 250 crores only on 52 selected model schools, ignoring the remaining majority. The system in these model schools is also ripe with corruption. The government is claiming credit by projecting the good optics of only a handful of schools picked after ignoring thousands others.

Below are the estimates of the Economic Survey pertaining to infrastructural development in schools of Delhi -

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