Delhi govt planning to start skill development after school hours

New Delhi: The Delhi government plans to introduce skill development activities for its students after school hours as a part of its effort to improve vocational studies and increase enrollment in higher education.

The project is a part of the directorate of education’s “Vision 2030” plan, which aims to achieve multiple targets such as creating more schools of excellence, teaching foreign languages, and having connected classrooms in government schools before 2030.

“After school hours, there should be a provision of vocational and skill development activities. Students to be given a choice of participation in the activities as per their interest. Activities pertaining to art/craft, library, and vocational skills to be provided in such time slot,” read a document, providing details on the project.

“In each cluster, one school to be designated for afternoon activities for skill development of students so as to facilitate the students in getting admission/enrollment in higher education,” the order said.

Signed by the deputy director of education (administration), Ramchandra Shingare, the order said the project is tentatively slated to begin by December 1. The department’s vocational branch has been told to decide on the scheme by the end of this month.

Separate provisions will be made in the budget for the payment of honorarium to staff and teachers allotted for this purpose. Heads of schools have been asked to finalize estimates and do the procurement by November 15.

Schools have also been asked to form clubs for different activities. “Introduction of sports, visual and performing arts, tuition classes for preparation of competitive exams during after school hours can be done. There can be various clubs for sports, music, and computer learning, etc., on the line of eco-clubs existing in the schools,” the order stated. Heads of schools have been told to decide on the clubs by September 30.

Deputy director of education (vocational) Pramod Katiyar has been appointed as the nodal officer for the project. “We already have eco-clubs in our schools. Similar clubs will be formed for students based upon their interests. The vocational subjects in the scheme will be decided on the basis of subjects already available in the school or based on the requirement of local communities,” he said.

Awadhesh Kumar Jha, head of school at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Rohini Sector-8, said the scheme will help students build opportunities for themselves. “In my school, we wanted to encourage traditional skills in food from other states and set up stalls in the locality. This might encourage them to think bigger. It is something we had been trying in the school before the pandemic struck.

Getting children from marginalized backgrounds access to music or sports skills will help them find more opportunities. However, finding teachers or experts during the Covid-19 pandemic might prove to be a little difficult.”

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