After Aam Aadmi Party won power in 2015, its chief minister Arvind Kejriwal pledged to revamp Delhi’s schools. Initial efforts focused on physical improvements while experts and universities collaborated with government on curriculum creation while improving day-to-day operations.
But true improvements came only when the government focused its efforts on two vital components of schooling: teachers and students. “Teachers serve a similar function to pilots for aircraft,” writes Sisodia in his book. Without their skillsets, an aeroplane simply won’t take off.
Government leaders hired private companies to clean hundreds of schools, retired military personnel as estate managers to oversee repairs, and teachers as mentor teachers — who help other teachers build skills while keeping an eye on students, as one teacher noted in Sisodia’s book.
Teachers have also received extensive professional development, with an emphasis on “critical thinking and problem solving”, as well as developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Additionally, special schools have been created for children who possess aptitudes or talents in fields like science and technology, literature/language arts/sports. The school system is also exploring various programs such as Chunauti (to bridge learning gaps), reading campaigns, Pragati series, summer camps and happiness curriculum to improve learning outcomes for city children and increase graduation rates of class 10. Initial results have been promising and show an increase in passing rates; it remains to be seen if these gains can be sustained over time with these innovative educational models.