The Delhi government is set to convert its existing all-girls’ and all-boys’ schools into co-ed ones, and evening shifts schools into general shift ones. The examination branch of the Directorate of Education (DoE) on Monday instructed the officials to come up with three detailed plans to implement the conversion by July 2020.
The government is likely to begin the process from the next academic session in schools which hosts sufficient infrastructure for the planned conversion.
The move comes after the DoE analysed the board exam results of the last several years for all its schools and found that the co-ed and general shift schools had been consistently performing better. In a circular issued on Monday, additional director (examination) Saroj Sain said a detailed analysis of results has shown that it can be improved with general shift schools, co-ed schools, optimum enrolment, better pupil-teacher ratio and Delhi government’s ‘Mission Buniyaad’ scheme, among others.
Binay Bushan, director of the DoE, said the government has been trying to increase the infrastructure, in terms of classrooms, in the existing schools to make them ready to become single-shift and co-ed schools. “It has been observed that the co-ed schools are not only performing better but also over-all development is found to be better there. The major reason behind the Delhi government constructing more and more classrooms in it schools is to convert them into single-shift and co-ed schools,” he said.
Delhi government had last month said it was thinking to open more co-ed schools in the city while sharing the data showing co-ed schools performing better than the all-girls’ and all-boys’ schools. In Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 exams this year, the pass percentage of government co-ed school stood at 88.1% followed by all-girls’ school (82%) and boys’ schools (74.8%). Similarly for Class 12, the pass percentage of government co-ed schools was recorded at 98.03%, higher than girls’ schools (97.42%) and boys’ schools (93.42 %).
The DoE had also found that the general shift or morning shift students performed better than evening schools in these classes.
In Delhi, while there are 401 government boys’ schools and 421 girls’ schools, there are only 173 co-ed schools. Some of these schools run in double shifts — for girls in the morning and boys in the evening.
A senior DoE official said it will be a challenge for the department to encourage more parents to send their children to co-ed schools. “We will have to sensitise parents in overcoming their hesitation towards sending their children to co-ed schools. Also, we will have to sensitise the students who will be studying with the opposite sex for the first time in order to avoid any untoward incident. Some principals are also apprehensive about the plan saying that some parents can stop sending their girls to schools if they will have to study with the boys,” the official, who did not wish to be named, said
The official also said the government has also analysed that major reason behind boys’ schools not performing as well as the girls’ or co-ed schools is that most of them are running in the evening shifts. “The evening shifts schools are facing a lot of challenges. There is a shortage of teachers in evening schools specially those located in the outer areas of the city. The situation leads to poor learning outcome in many of these schools. So, it was decided to convert as many of them as possible into the general shift schools,” the official said.
The principal of a government boys’ senior secondary school in Rohini said the move will help their students perform better and indulge in other co-curricular activities. “Unlike morning shift schools the students of evening shift schools do not get much chance to engage in any extracurricular activity. Their shift does not allow them to even stay back in schools after classes,” the principal said.