Siso­dia ex­plains why Delhi kids will be tough to cor­rupt

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY | LOOKING BACK AND AHEAD - AlokKNMishra@ times­

New Delhi: In the near fu­ture, it would be dif­fi­cult to cor­rupt, or in­flu­ence on re­li­gious lines, those study­ing in Delhi gov­ern­ment schools, deputy chief min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia claimed on Wed­nes­day. This would be made pos­si­ble by “hap­pi­ness lessons” that would be im­parted at these schools to de­velop the “crit­i­cal think­ing abil­i­ties” of stu­dents, he said.

Speak­ing at an event to mark three years of the AAP gov­ern­ment, Siso­dia said the gov­ern­ment had com­mis­sioned a team of ex­perts, in­clud­ing school­teach­ers, to pre­pare a frame­work for the “hap­pi­ness cur­ricu­lum”, which the gov­ern­ment planned to in­tro­duce for stu­dents of nurs­ery to Class VIII from the next aca­demic ses­sion.

A sig­nif­i­cant part of the event was ded­i­cated to elab­o­rat­ing on gov­ern­ment’s “achieve­ments” in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. In­ter­est­ingly, among the cab­i­net min­is­ters, it was only Siso­dia — who is also the ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter — who got the op­por­tu­nity to speak at the func­tion even as chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal him­self touched upon other sec­tors briefly.

Claim­ing that AAP had kept its pre-poll prom­ises, Siso­dia said: “Ed­u­ca­tion was in a mess when we took over and schools lacked proper in­fra­struc­ture.” He said the gov­ern­ment had in­volved par­ents in its ef­forts to im­prove the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion through par­ent-teacher meets and by form­ing school man­age­ment com­mit­tees. The ex­ist­ing model of ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try, Siso­dia claimed, had fo­cused on only 5% of the pop­u­la­tion, which meant the re­main­ing 95% didn’t have ac­cess to good ed­u­ca­tion. “FDI is of no use if 74% of stu­dents can’t even read their text­books,” Siso­dia said, while claim­ing that sev­eral stu­dents were now mak­ing a switch from pri­vate schools to gov­ern­ment ones.

The gov­ern­ment had opened 14 new col­leges that were of­fer­ing vo­ca­tional cour­ses, Siso­dia claimed, adding that even the Cen­tre was in­ter­ested in repli­cat­ing the city’s ed­u­ca­tion model in other states.

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