To make students risk takers we should be willing to take a risk: Sisodia

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on September 09, 2021

He says, ‘Aam Aadmi Party fulfilled its poll promise of increasing the number of schools in Delhi through more infrastructure deployment’

The National Education Policy is inadequate in its current form to groom risk takers, according to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia. Speaking to BusinessLine, Sisodia who is also the Education Minister of Delhi said that all schools need to have entrepreneurship courses with governments bringing in financial investments to encourage students. He also said that the Aam Aadmi Party's poll promise of increasing the number of schools in Delhi has been achieved through more infrastructure deployment at existing schools. Excerpts from the interview:

On the National Education Policy 2020, you had said that it is highly regulated and poorly funded. Is this your stand even today also?

Yes. Just by writing in the policy that students should have critical thinking it will not happen until the monetary investment is made in this regard. Making an investment is a risk which one should take. If I am telling students to take risk then I should also set an example that government is willing to take the risk as well.

The Delhi Government in its manifesto has promised to set up 500 new schools. What’s the status on it?

We have made more rooms in existing schools which is more than 500 new school infrastructure. There is a lack of new space in Delhi. So wherever we get space, we have developed school blocks and started classes. Now schools with a capacity of hardly 1,000 students are now easily handle 3,000 students. The capacity has tripled.

What are the current challenges in the education system?

There are a lot of challenges in the sector. It is poorly funded across the country, and lacks vision about what we want from the sector. So delinking the education of the country from its other challenges is the biggest issue. We need to identify the challenges that are before the nation and then use education as a tool to find solutions to these problems.

There has been an increase in the number of dropouts, what steps Delhi Government is taking to ensure it doesn’t happen?

We switched to online and hybrid classes, so there is no reason for dropouts in schools. There may be some students, but we have not seen any impact of COVID-19 causing dropouts. Any student facing problems in financing education should know that government school education is free. We are welcoming them to our schools.

The Delhi Government recently launched the Business Blasters programme. Please elaborate.

It will start from class 9 and continue till class 12. There are some major components of this programme. One is stories of successful entrepreneurs. Every year there are 10 stories and the student comes across 40 stories by the end of the curriculum. These will be discussed in the classroom. A second opportunity is for them to interact with entrepreneurs in person. This gives them perspective about stability, time and other aspects of entrepreneurship. Then we ask students to pick five entrepreneurs and business persons and study them. This is a common component in all clusters. There is another cluster for Class 11 and Class 12. The students will now be given a seed money of ₹ 2000 per head. We had intended this from the start but there were some challenges of implementation and timing that marred the project.

Published on September 09, 2021

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