Supporters of Aam Admi Party (AAP) including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are perpetually boasting that a revolution has taken place in the field of education in Delhi. They are never tired of saying that Delhi’s government schools have turned world class. After spending crores of rupees, they would show photos of a gym and a swimming pool constructed in one out of a thousand schools and say what a fantastic job has been done by Kejriwal.
Another lie being circulated in the market these days is that government schools have surpassed private schools. People are seen saying this in the context of 12th board results. But when you talk about the results of 10th class, everyone goes mum. Then no one will tell you why the result of Delhi schools has fallen below 77.12% which was the result in 2006-07. In fact, since 2006-07, Delhi schools had only shown an upward trend except for the last two years when it broke several records of poor results.
Let us understand the story of government schools of Delhi-
Lets first talk about the 12th class:
1) It feels good to hear that government schools are giving better results than private schools. But is it happening for the first time in the case of Delhi?
You will find out that’s not true.
Government schools of Delhi have outshone the private schools earlier as well. In 2009 and 2010, the performance of government schools in terms of 12th results was better than the private schools. Take a look at the statistics on the 12th class results of the government and the private schools, shared by the Delhi government through Result Analysis after the result was declared.
Therefore it is wrong to declare it as a historical event.
2) To say that all the betterment in exam results were delivered as your government came to power is a bit too much. Numbers tell that the gap between the exam results of government and private schools has reduced drastically.
Take a look at the figures (Slide no. 12)
You can see that the government schools that were lagging behind private schools by 13% have not only come at par with private schools but in fact, exceeded them. In the last three years, the same thing is being repeated by the fact is that the gap between the government and the private schools is not too much unlike past decades.
3) As far as the performance of the students of Delhi is concerned, it has always been good.
The abovementioned figures suggest that the exam result of the students studying in the government schools of Delhi never dropped below 85% between 2008-2015. If there has been a minor improvement in the past 3 years, then the result of private schools has also improved proportionately. This year i.e. during 2018-19 private schools were 90% as against 94% figure of government schools.
4) It also to be seen that while the number of students is decreasing in government schools, it increased in private schools every year.
Here is the report of Economic Survey of Delhi (2018-19)-
5) The number of admissions is decreasing in government schools while the total share of admissions in private schools is rising.
The numbers in the Economic Survey report issued by the government prove this. According to the report, while the share of private schools was at 31% during 2014-15, it rose above 45.5% during 2017-18.
6) Decreasing number of students appearing for board exams
What is extremely shocking here is that regardless of the quality of result the number of students appearing in the exams has always been rising until the Aam Admi Party government came to power. Ever since the AAP government came the number of students has been decreasing.
Look at numbers of more than a decade.
It is evident that ever since the AAP government came to power the number of students appearing in 12th board exams has been reducing rapidly.
7) Only ‘good’ students appearing for board exams
The most important thing is that every year a large number of students are being failed in the 9th and 11th exam results so that only ‘good’ students appear for 12th class exams. The decreasing numbers are proof that around 50% of students are being failed every year in 9th class. (See figures)
28-29% of students were failed in 11th standard as per this Indian Express report.
Despite all this, the partial rise in the result is being projected as an achievement.
The moment the result of 10th standard is out, all the claims educational revolution of the Kejriwal government go up in the air
Their supporters who can’t stop praising the government for 12th exam results suddenly become tight-lipped as soon as 10th standard results come out.
Let’s see some facts,
1) This year in 2018-19, government schools were behind private schools by 21%. While the collective percentage of the government schools in Delhi was 71.58%, the collective percentage of private schools was 93.12%.
2) During the last session in 2017-18 when the results for the 10th standard were declared 69.32% of the students studying in government schools had passed as compared to 89.45% of those studying in private schools. This means that there was a gap of 20% of the percentage of students passed.
In the past years, the national average of the 10th exam result was extremely poor but no one is coming forward to take responsibility.
3) The condition of 10th standard results in the government schools in Delhi was not the same a decade ago. The ‘credit’ for this also goes to the AAP government and it is because this government that Delhi’s record has hit its lowest breaking all the past records.
4) Delhi government should own the damage it has done to the initiatives that were taken to bridge the gap between the government and the private schools. The gap of 45% between private and government schools was brought down by the previous governments. However, AAP government has again brought up the same difference to 21%.
5) This is the situation when around 42% of students had failed in 9th standard last year which meant that only ‘good’ students were promoted to the next class.
As is discussed above, the performance of the students of the government schools of Delhi studying in 10th standard was better than those studying in private schools in 2013 as compared to the poor 10th standard results over past 2 years.
6) Delhi government did not allow the who had failed in exams, to take re-admission. The percentage of such students was 66%.
Read here an excerpt from the petition of Delhi High Court Advocate Ashok Aggarwal:
Delhi government should answer some important questions instead of demanding praise for manipulated achievement for 12th standard results:
1) Why are such results coming out despite tall claims of increasing learning outcome along with “Mission Chunauti” and “Mission Buniyaad”?
2) Why are students being deliberately failed in the name of improving results?
3) Why are students who have failed, are not being allowed to take re-admission?
4) Why is the government not focusing on studies and is instead renovating a few schools seeking appreciation?
The head of the Delhi government should keep in mind that he may earn applause by manipulating numbers, distract the media by spending crores on infrastructure but he is indulging in national crime by depriving the poor students of school education.
Eco(H), LL.B(University of Delhi), BHU & LS College Alumni, Writer, Ex Gandhi Fellow, Ex. Research Journalist Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Spent a decade in Students Politics, Public Policy enthusiast, Working with Rural Govt. Schools. Views are personal.