Raipur: The Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh is embarking on an ambitious school education programme, modelling it on Arvind Kejriwal government’s successful initiatives in Delhi government schools.
Like in Delhi, the Chhattisgarh government’s emphasis is not on making new school buildings, but on giving facelift to existing ones, providing new furniture, improving infrastructure, and training teachers in English medium schools that will be set up in every district.
The Bhupesh Baghel regime is chasing an ambitious deadline of 15 June, when the next academic session begins, to set up these English medium schools, a senior official in the state school education department told ThePrint.
Aiming to create model educational institutions with better infrastructural and quality education facilities for the students, the planned schools will be run in a professional way, even better than private and public schools, said Alok Shukla, principal secretary, state school education department.
While the proposed model schools in Chhattisgarh will not be a replica of the initiatives in Delhi, the latter’s success has served as an inspiration.
“The Delhi government has done wonderfully. There cannot be a second thought about it and we should praise somebody who has done well. We completely agree that what they have done is wonderful and we should get inspiration from it,” said Shukla.
“However we should realise that Chhattisgarh is not Delhi. Chhattisgarh has Sukma, Bastar and Konta. We have hills, dense forests and Maoism here whereas Delhi has plain roads and metros. We have to create our own model. We feel extremely inspired by them but it cannot be all Delhi,” Shukla added.
Highlighting CM Baghel’s intent to improve school education in the state, Shukla said his department has sent letters to all district collectors to come up with an action plan for starting the proposed schools within a week.
“We haven’t fixed any definite number of the proposed schools for now, but the idea is to put in place minimum one school in every district when the new academic session commences in June,” he said.
The Kejriwal government’s successful school initiatives were seen as a factor behind its victory in this month’s Delhi assembly elections.
How the government plans to start these schools
According to the Chhattisgarh school department’s letter to the state’s district magistrates, the government will not construct new buildings for these schools. Instead, it will pick one existing government school and redevelop it with all the required infrastructural renovations for the launch of new plan.
The district officials have been asked to select government school buildings in their regions that are located in the centre of the cities and have the least enrollment of students. The students who are presently studying in these schools will be accommodated in other Hindi medium schools in the town.
According to Alok Shukla, work for setting up these schools will be taken up on war footing once the exams for the current session are over.
The necessary renovation works, along with other small constructions, will be completed before the new session. The schools will also be provided with quality furniture, and a facelift to the buildings.
Freedom for principals and training for teachers
Quality management and appointment of teaching staff in these model English medium schools will be the other key focus areas.
“We have 3,000 highly qualified and performing serving principals and lakhs of teachers in the state. Heads of the proposed schools will be picked from among them but they will have to be result-oriented and work round the clock for a cause,” said Alok Shukla.
“They will be given all the freedom to work for the development and growth of the schools but they cannot crib for leaves and holidays as done at present,” he said.
According to him, these principals will have the freedom to select teaching staff for their schools from the existing lot of government teachers, but the focus will be on those who are educated in English medium schools.
Shukla said there will be a special one-month induction training programme for the selected teachers to sensitise and acclimatise them with the needs of the schools.
The selection of teachers will be completed by the end of April and the training will be held in May, he said. However, he added that the dates haven’t been finalised yet.
Focus on library and labs
The proposed model schools will focus on developing better library and laboratory facilities than public schools. The government also plans to equip these schools with science laboratories with new apparatus and materials.
Admissions for all classes, starting from class I up to higher secondary, will begin soon. While there will be no language constraints for admission in Class I to III, entry in classes IV onwards will be offered only to students from English medium schools.