The Arvind Kejriwal-led government of Delhi, which claims to have revolutionised education in the national capital is now ready to set-up the Delhi Board of School Education. This is in the upcoming academic year 2021-22 itself. An overhaul of education and learning is being planned by the AAP government, with the aim being a departure from the traditional ‘rote learning’ in which students are forced to take part. While presenting the 2020 annual budget for Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had announced that the government was setting aside Rs 62 crore to set up a separate state board of education.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stated that the three primary goals of the board are to produce “kattar deshbhakts (staunch patriots)”, “good people” and to prepare students to not be reliant on the job market for employment. Mind you, the goals of the AAP government of Delhi are highly ambitious, and its ideas are noble. However, their implementation, being done in a hasty, haphazard and immediate manner is bound to prove to be a disaster for the state’s education sector, whose repercussions will mostly have to be faced by students who are in crucial stages of their school life.
What’s worse is that the Delhi government is overhauling the state’s education system, method and approach of teaching and mode of evaluation at a time when the Modi government’s National Curriculum Framework, 2020 has started kicking in. The NCF had in itself espoused to overhaul India’s education system, and the Centre is also working for major changes in the syllabi mandated for schooling across the country. As such, why the AAP government could not have some patience and is desperate to pressurise students with a board change remains incomprehensible.
It must be remembered that much of the AAP government’s claims of transforming the education system in Delhi is fundamentally based on PR and false claims, which have time and again been exposed. The face of the AAP government’s supposed transformation of Delhi’s education sector is Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. TFI had earlier reported how there was a major dearth of qualified teachers in Delhi government schools. Obviously, incompetent teachers are directly proportional to student failures. In session 2017-18, 42503 failures in class 10 and 10,566 failures in class 12 were noted. In the subsequent year, over 42503 class 10 students were barred from re-admission in schools.
The biggest setback which Delhi students will have to face is the extremely short time they are being given by Kejriwal’s government for transitioning from CBSE to the Delhi Board of School Education. There are over 1,000 schools run by the Delhi government, all of which are currently affiliated to the CBSE. Apart from these government schools, there are over 1700 private schools in the national capital affiliated to CBSE.
In the first tranche, the Delhi government plans to remove the CBSE affiliation of 20-25 government schools. According to Kejriwal, “We will not move all schools to this board at once. In this first year, affiliation of 20-25 government schools will be removed and they will be affiliated to this board. We will decide on the schools in consultations with their principals, teachers and parents. We believe that within four-five years, all private and government schools will voluntarily join this board.”
Imagine you are a student of classes 8 or 9 or 11 in one of these 25 schools the Kejriwal government plans to de-affiliate from the CBSE immediately. You have been steadily preparing for your CBSE board examinations, but suddenly find out that the Delhi government has decided, without consulting you, to change your board of education from a trusted CBSE to an unknown DBSE. Chances are, you will have to start afresh, with a completely new syllabus. You also only have verbal assurance that the new board will help you crack the various entrance examinations in India. You do not even know what the syllabus of this new board looks like. Will you call the move pathbreaking, or disastrous?
Speaking about the syllabus, we know Arvind Kejriwal to be a chief minister who is an ever-ready agitator willing to lock up IAS officers at the drop of a hat, and also for setting base at the Lt. Governor’s residence. As such, the man, and his government cannot be trusted with setting up a neutral syllabus bereft of any propaganda which ends up carving a favourable opinion for his party in the minds of young students. Kejriwal will most certainly attempt some misadventures and will make the DBSE a political tool for himself.
Then comes the added weight of DBSE being an unknown and untrustworthy entity, at least for now. CBSE on the other hand has practically overseen the education of a majority of Indians. Who would parents trust more? CBSE or DBSE? However, parents whose children are studying in at least 20 to 25 schools of Delhi will be forced to have their wards shift to the Delhi Board of School Education.
The setting up of a separate board for Delhi alone is not entirely a bad idea. However, the rapidity with which the same is being pushed down the throats of students is scary, and might just end up having terrible consequences.