Despite having met most of its output targets in education by the third quarter of 2018-2019, the crucial outcome area where the Delhi government is faltering is academic performances and learning abilities of students in its schools.
Only 46% students in class VI scored more than 33% in their examination in 2018. For class VII, this number was 53.58%, and for class VIII, it was 57.19%. These percentages are woefully below the stated target of 70% of children scoring above 33%. It is also weaker than the performances in 2017, where the numbers stood at 60.27% in class VI; 60.55% in class VII and 59.29% in class VIII. The fall registered in class VI is by almost 15 percentage points.
Classes VI to VIII were part of the government’s targeted learning improvement scheme, Chunauti 2018, which had been launched in 2016 to address “poor foundational skills” of students. This scheme was expanded in 2018 to include students from classes III to V as well, under Mission Buniyad.
Where numbers do seem to indicate an improvement up to December 2018 is in the more basic parameter of ability of students in these classes to read grade-appropriate texts.
The numbers stood at 57.3% for class VI; 65 % for class VII; and 71.2 % for class VIII. These percentages might be less than ideal but are an improvement over the previous year’s numbers of 40%, 48% and 54% for classes VI, VII and VIII, respectively.
A development in furthering inclusive education has been the setting up of an additional 195 Special Training Centres, over and above the 361 that were already in existence.
These centres are aimed at functioning as a bridge to prepare out-of-school children for joining mainstream schools.
However, while 17,178 children had been enrolled till December, only 3,298 had been mainstreamed to schools against a target of 15,000 for 2018-2019. However, the outcome report states that its performance is on target as the process of mainstreaming involves at least a year.
A shortcoming in inclusive education, however, has been in appointment of regular special educators in schools.