Govt to bring major educational reforms

| | New Delhi

Delhi Government is planning to bring a major reform in the sector of education by changing the way assessments are conducted in schools. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government is changing the pattern of question papers to attain this objective from class 1 to class 8 through the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) proposed "Learning Outcomes". It (Government) claims to be the first State to implement it across Government schools in the national Capital.

"Our primary goal is to look and access the learning levels of children. This will trigger the teacher's attitude inside classrooms to change their teaching patterns in order to bring children out of the cocoon of cramming," an official from the Government told The Pioneer.

The NCERT's developed Learning Outcomes have been incorporated in the Right to Education and the academic authority at the national level, set to organise a National Achievement Survey in September 2017.

The Government's education department has held a round of back-to-back meetings to change the question paper format that has been in practice for decades.

"The mentor-teachers, principals, officials from education department and subject experts were called in to make specific changes in the way questions are given to school children in mid-term and final examinations. Model question papers were drafted and revised in these meeting after suggestions and reviews. The  model question paper drafts were finalised by the last meeting of the Directorate of Education's exam branch last week," said the official privy to the assessment reform of the Government.

The Government is applying the new format  in the current academic session. The questions have been change to more realistic form. For example, History has a question where the students needs to identify and explain an ancient coin which is from the syllabus (text-book) while a part of question also includes a present day coin which the students are supposed to explain.

"Chitra main dou prakaar kay sickay diye hain, ek jin ka prayog aajsay 2,500 varsh poorv hota tha aur dusra vehhain jinka prayog aaj hota hain. Chitron ko dekh kar inkay beech koi teen mukhya anter likho. (Between the two pictures, one of the coin used 2,500 years back and the other one being used today, identify the three main differences in the two)?" reads the question in one of the model question papers.

The idea is to follow a "backward design" where the teachers have to grasp that where they need to change their way of teaching. "This way the teachers would be enlightened about how the teaching has to change to application based knowledge and not just theoretical."

He said that the focus of the city-Government is to bring down the drop-out rates by changing the patterns of education to a more skill-based one.

The question papers have been set in three parts for each class. The Government had last year divided the students in three groups according to their levels of reading.

"The question papers would be separate for those who cannot read, write or do basic mathematics (Nishtha group), those who can (Pratibha group) and those who learned to read recently neo-Nishtha."

For the group who have basic reading ability, the question papers would be objective based while with the level of reading ability, the questions would be more subjective.

It may be noted that Delhi Government has won accolades for the outcome in education sector with an impressive CBSE results for Class XII and efforts of reforming the Government schools. When asked for his views on the changes being ushered in by the Arvind Kejriwal Government, Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister in-charge said, "We are committed to completely transform the education sector and prepare young minds to grow up and excel in their respective fields. We want children to grow academically in a more conducive atmosphere".



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