Delhi, 14th December, 2017: Praja published its Annual Report State of Public (School) Education in Delhi presenting data collected through RTIs (Right to Information) on various parameters. It is evident from data that there is more to what is presented as a wholesome picture of the education in Delhi.

A crucial aspect of this is the fluctuation especially in terms of transition rate of students in state government schools from Class 9th to 10th at 56.95%, whereas it is 98.55% from Class 7th to 8th for the academic year 2015-16 to 2016-17. This indicates that almost half of the students did not move to secondary education level through examination, while in primary and middle school, they were promoted irrespective of learning levels.

This points out something very peculiar said Anjali Srivastava, Assistant Manager, Praja Foundation. She continued this further by saying, “It is important to note that transition rate of students especially from the 9th standard to the 10th standard as mentioned above stands to the fact that students were promoted irrespective of the learning levels in the earlier years and the teachers either were ‘callous’ in their approach or the monitoring of RTE norms was not stringent.”

The data further represents a bedraggled picture of Class 1 enrolments over the years in Delhi government and MCD schools with 1,92,820 enrolments in 2010-11 to 1,35,491 in 2016-17 – a drop of 30%. Clarifying that there is no dearth in resources with the Corporation, Nitai Mehta, Founder and Managing Trustee of Praja Foundation said, “In terms of the infrastructure available, teacher quality and budget allocation, there is no constraint on available resources. The corporation is faring well on the student-teacher ratio, the quality of the teacher is above average and the budget estimate being set by the state government at 49,740 rupees per child.”

Making democracy work

Mehta’s points are reiterated through the data presented by Shaala Siddhi, which states that in terms of quality of teaching, 63% of state government and 55% of Municipal Corporation Delhi (MCD) schools show an average level of teacher quality.

There is an evident dichotomy between resources available and the lack of faith in learning outcomes of students. This is further reflected in Praja Foundation’s commissioned household survey to Hansa Research which was conducted in Delhi. Hansa Research, Sr. Vice President, Anjan Ghosh, stated that, “An alarmingly high percentage of (85%) household’s students taking private tuitions are from Municipal schools and 74% from State Government Schools. This could be in correlation with the percentage of parents (29%) not being happy with their children’s school as the primary factor.”

Milind Mhaske, Project Director, Praja Foundation while looking at the whole picture of education in Delhi said, “It seems that the Government is only showing data which makes it look good, but when you dig deeper, you can analyse that there are major issues in the education department. Unless the Government acknowledges these major issues, it will be difficult to bring about any change or improvements required in the education department. These issues need to be addressed and acted upon soon, otherwise, the future of the children in Delhi is at stake.”

Concluding the conference on a positive note with a critical outlook, Mehta stated that, “Good Governance is based on the principles of accountability, transparency and efficiency. It needs to be measured by its outcomes, corresponding to the inputs.”

About PRAJA Foundation:

PRAJA was founded in 1997 with a vision to re-establish accountability and transparency in governance. Fuelled by a concern about a general lack of interest among the Citizens’ in the local Government; Praja aims to create awareness among the citizens, and therefore empower them through the knowledge.

PRAJA believes that the availability of information can go a long way towards simplifying people’s lives and evoking participation. This aims to ensure a holistic approach for ushering good governance must have buy-in of our ideas from the elected representatives. At the same time, there should be tools and mechanisms which enable citizens to keep a close watch on the work done by their elected representatives. PRAJA’s goals are simplifying people’s lives, empowering the citizens and Government with facts and creating instruments of change to improve the quality of life of citizens in India. PRAJA is committed to creating an accountable and efficient society through people’s participation.

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