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‘Close rural-urban gap in school education’

by Loknath Das

Bedi says feedback from students shows the difference in teaching methods; asks officials to visit schools on a daily basis

Following her visit to a government girls’ higher secondary school in suburban Bahour, Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Wednesday made a quick assessment of the quality of education being imparted at the Thiruvalluvar Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School in the city.

Among the Class XII students who expressed views was one who complained that she could not hear the teacher’s voice in commerce class and another who wanted to “change a teacher but the school wouldn’t do so.” Students also sought better toilets and facilities for indoor sports and games.

“The feedback from students revealed the big difference in education standards between the rural and urban schools,” Ms. Bedi said.

She assured the students that the Education Department will do the needful.

“Do you know you can be your own teachers by being self-learners? Form groups to learn and then test each other to improve,” she advised them.

Pointing to the possibility of some among the students being first generation learners in their family, the Lt. Governor conveyed to them that the onus was as much on them to work harder and prepare for multiple options. “Admissions are now by merit. So you need to work hard to qualify to join professions of your choice”, she said.

Summing up her experience, the Lt. Governor said that the visit was most helpful in getting a first hand feedback of students on the specific needs to take them to the next level of learning.

‘Make surprise visits’

Ms. Bedi has instructed the Directorate of Education to make surprise visits to schools on a daily basis to identify areas of improvement in the education system. “Visit one school daily and take feedback from students to identify gaps. Organise intensive teacher training programs based on the learning outcomes mandated by Government of India. Develop customised training packages for rural and urban schools for their upliftment,” she told L. Kumar, Director of School Education.

She asked him to partner with the Labour Department to provide after-school skills training to students and emphasised the need to start career counselling for students as early as Class IX “so that they did not experience frustration related to employability once they graduate from school.”

Ms. Bedi also took to Twitter to lament over the education system where “our examination system in school may pass them (students) from one class to the next, but sets them up for failure post school”.

Ms. Bedi added that she has written to all elected representatives to undertake visits to schools in their constituency and ensure that rural students are not put to unfair disadvantage.


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