From fostering ‘creative thinking’ amongst children to strengthening school management committees (SMCs), providing leadership training to principals to creating model schools, the Delhi government has roped in various NGOs to improve the 1,000-odd government schools in the capital.
To cultivate ‘life thinking’ among students, for instance, the government has roped in Design for Change (DFS) — an NGO which aims at students graduating with ‘not only content, but also character’. For creating its 54 model schools, it has roped in four NGOs — Pratham, Teach for India, Creatnet Education and Saajha.
Teach for India and Jodo Gyan — an NGO involved in providing activity-based education particularly in Maths and Science — will also be part of the review committee looking at reducing government school syllabi by 25 per cent.
“From this year, Design for Change is going to work with government school children. The idea is to move beyond content and studying and help students develop skills related to critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving. It is a one week lesson plan, and we have sent it to all schools along with demos. Children need to pick a problem and solve it, and then share their solutions. It is just like what our deputy chief minister said – to teach kids not just basic subjects, but also life skills,” said Nandini Sood, from DFC.
Similarly, the school transformation programme, currently running in 54 model schools, has different NGOs looking at various aspects. While Centre Square Foundation’s Creatnet education will work with the Directorate of Education and the SCERT (State Council of Education Research & Training) on leadership development and capacity building of headmasters, Saajha is working towards creating effective school management committees.
NGO Pratham has been tasked with measuring learning levels and planning learning interventions in the 54 schools. “We have already measured learning outcomes in these schools through our assessments. We are now looking at making useful interventions to improve the current standards,” said an official from Pratham.
Another NGO, Teach for India, is also working towards strengthening SMCs in schools. “Every SMC has one seat for a social worker. Many Teach for India fellows are members of the SMCs now,” said Atishi Marlena, advisor on education to minister Manish Sisodia.