April 19, 2018 3:10:55 am
Delhi government advisor Atishi Marlena was at a meeting with NGO Teach for India members when she received her dismissal letter on Tuesday. “There is staff at the secretariat to deliver communications, both urgent and routine, to different floors. She thought it was a routine letter. The meeting stopped for a bit as she opened the letter and read it,” said a source.
The meeting to discuss ways for improving learning levels of pupils under the Mission Buniyad scheme soon ended.
Education department officials said Marlena was “the most critical person for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in its efforts in the field of education”, something the party has said is its electoral plank in other states.
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Sources said Marlena has held 120 meetings — roughly eight per week — since the beginning of the year as Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia’s advisor and the point-person for eight key projects.
These include the meetings Marlena or Sisodia have chaired with officers as well as NGOs, said sources. The Delhi government cancelled appointments of 10 key advisers to ministers, including Marlena, on Tuesday following an advisory from the Union Home Ministry. It said the “creation” of these posts had become “void”.
Sisodia said Marlena and the work she had been doing in the field of education was their prime focus.
Marlena was at the centre of eight key projects of the party focused on education. They include Mission Buniyad that aims to improve learning levels of primary and secondary students. The Teacher Development Coordinator Programme had been designed to create a platform for peer learning among teachers, dealing with the grievances and inputs from School Management Committees and for restructuring the directorate of education.
Marlena was also instrumental in shaping the Happiness Curriculum designed to increase the “happiness equality” levels of students. She was involved in strengthening regulations on private school fees and organising parent-teacher meetings, including the largest such meet in Delhi in 2017. As many as 1,041 schools had participated in the meet.
Marlena refused to comment while AAP leader Raghav Chadha blamed the BJP for her ouster.
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