Yes, he has almost borderline psychopathic obsession with education, he has said this numerous times that he identifies himself as education minister more than Deputy CM. I can easily list out dozens of surprise raids/inspections he has carried out or pictures of swimming pools in some under construction schools or reading melas conducted in public to help kids read books, but I won’t list them out.
Why? Because the pool/auditorum in the above pictures is “non-systemic change”, an isolated example(if you want to see 100 such examples then click ). These might show that he is sincere in his efforts, but it is not a step which influences the entire education sector. If there was a new policy ensuring a pool/auditorium in all new schools, then that would be “systemic change”.
So following are 24 systems created by Manish Sisodia in 20 months-
1. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to allocate 25% budget to education (it has been doubled as compared to previous year).
2. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to ban census duty, election duty and polio duty for teachers. They will never miss classes due to these activities. Seven years back teachers took Shiela to the court.
3. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to give un-rejectable loans for college education up to 10 lakhs. No collateral needed, if you live and study in Delhi then you are eligible, thats it. The loan would cover tuition and other fee, books, laptop, equipments, hostel etc.
4. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to give Principals the power to appoint Cleanliness Manager at a salary of 25k. He has only one job - get the school cleaned in&out and upload pictures/videos daily on an app. Implications of this app is that every morning Sisodia will know the exact no. of malfunctioning school toilets, the exact no. of out of order tubelights across 1000 schools etc.
5. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to have private school refunding fees on a statewide scale. This was no easy task, he had fight it out in the courts. Judge was astonished that all schools increase fee 10% every year on the basis of an old Sheila Dikshit notification, there was no law regarding it, there was no previous judgement allowing it.
Visible results- happy parent’s refund receipt
Sisodia can do this simply because AAP wields the political will surpassing any other party in the country, they don't give a damn about any vested interests.
6. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to sign agreements with IIMA and Oxford/Cambridge for teacher training. 90 Top performing Principals have already been to Oxford in three batches and agreement with IIMA was signed last month.
1st batch at Cambridge -
7. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to announce tabs for each teacher. This will save time of data entry and taking attendance, also the parent will receive SMS by lunchtime if kid bunks the school.
8. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to give Principals total autonomy for hiring replacements for teachers who have gone on long leave. No need to send any file for approval to ministry.
9. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to hire an army of CAG chartered accounts to audit schools. Remember point 5? Court mandated schools on DDA land to take govt permission. So this happened
i) before 2015 - All 450 schools used to hike 10% fee without asking govt
ii) 2015 - Court - “all 450 to take permission”
iii) 2015 - Sisodia “let my CA audit you first”
iv) 2016 - miraculously 278 schools said “We don’t want to hike the fee”
v) 2016 - Remaining 172 applied,278 dropped
vi) 2016 - as CAs started their work another miracle occurs - 28 more schools say “We don’t want to hike the fee”
vii) 2017 - Only 5 permitted to hike
End Result - One of the most prestigious schools of this nation, with perhaps the most powerful trustees and alumni network - . Why? because many of such schools used to hide their surplus cash in trust funds and FDs - Ahlcon School hid 1.5 cr, Chinmaya hid 2 cr, Cambridge hid 1 Cr. Right now there is no punishment possible to these culprits, since 15 months central govt is sitting on the bill. If they pass the bill, then every such scoundrel school owner can be jailed.
10. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to announce following privileges for contract teachers -
i) Fixed monthly pays (50–60% salary hike)
ii) No more firing-> selection -> rehiring cycle at the end of each academic year
iii) As many casual leaves as regular teachers, earlier they had no leaves
iv) Experience certificates just like regular teachers
11. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to plan for a CCTV camera in every classroom of all schools. Sounds draconian doesn’t it ? But surprisingly every stakeholder wants it there!!
i) principals want it to ensure punctuality of teachers
ii) teachers want it as it results in students in being self disciplined
iii) students want it as rowdy behaviour of theft/violence stop due to it
12. Delhi is the 1st state in the Nation to accord the same respect to teachers as soldiers. Rs 1 Crore for Stabbed Teacher's Family. There was no TRP/sensation in this case, no vote bank, in fact even the victim’s family itself didn’t demand it; yet Sisodia did it because he actually believes teachers are as important to India’s future as soldiers. Same 1 crore rule is applicable to any citizen belonging to Army, BSF, CRPF, CISF, NIA, NDMC, MCD, Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Fighters.
13. Delhi is the first state in the nation to fight the most atrocious private school policy - manipulative criteria on nursery admission. Examples- +5 marks to kid if parents are "talented in music", +5 marks to the kid if parents don't smoke/non-veg, more points for vague criteria like "similar cultural ethos", "Attitudes and values", "Joint Family".
You know why kids having “similar ethos” are given more marks? Because it is not verifiable and school can manipulate the ranking as per the bribes they get from parents. Every CM in this nation allows it and a half-CM without legislative powers is fighting it.
Jan 2017 Update- they succeeded!
Private schools will admit students on only one criteria - distance of home. No interviews, no extra marks for parents education, no management quota.
14. Delhi is the first state in the nation to mandate video recording of Nursery admission Lottery. The draw-of-lots is to be video graphed, with the school retaining the footage for three months. The slips being used are to be shown to parents before they are put into a box. Earlier schools were totally operating like mafia without any restriction.
15. Delhi is the first state in the Nation to ban fancy admission prospectuses. If you wanted to consider DPS, Ryan International, GD Goenka etc for you 4yr old kid? Each of such mere consideration used to cost thousands of rupees. Now courtesy AAP - no school can charge more than 25/- for registration. Want to give 100 page fancy prospectus with glossy pages, now give it for free!!
16. Delhi is the first state in the Nation to takeover a private school by force - Maxfort School. This school siphoned off 18 crore rupees.
17. Delhi is the first state in the Nation to order removal of management quota. Matter is in court as of now. Can you think of any other CM who would dare to even talk about management quota in public?
18. Govt has set up 54 model schools which will pave roadmap to Sisodia’s ultimate goal - “Making govt schools better than private”
Must Watch 3 Min Clip (might take your breath away) -
19. Delhi is the first state in the Nation to display no. of illiterate students publicly. Isn't it horrifying that 74% of Class 6th kids can't read their own hindi book!!! A two month war-footing program brought down this number to 54%. There is a public dashboard in each school with data on how many kids cannot recognize characters, can recognize characters, can read words, paragraphs, stories, complex stories.
20. 8000 new rooms so that no classroom has more than 30 students. in 2015 delhi had 31,000 classrooms, in 2016 they have 39,000, by 2017 these will increase to 47,000.
21. 10 pre schools launched for the youngest kids, 3000 planned in total.
22. One thousand schools conducted PTM simultaneously as a festival, many parents met the class teachers for the first time!
23. All 1000 schools to be whitewashed during summer vacation on compulsory basis.
24. Last but not the least, lets also address the thing for which he got most media attention in past 2 years - Eating ice cream in Finland.
Most neutral anchor, Arnab Goswami , lynched Sisiodia 5 days non-stop on primetime. Arvind was admitted in hospital for surgery and Manish was on a pre planned Finland education tour, during this time Times Now went all guns blazing on national TV with hashtags like -
13th Sep - #AAPTravels
13th sep - #AAPKahanHai
15th Sep - #AAPDontCare
16th Sep - #AAPHaiAbroad
17th Sep - #AAPEnjoyingFinland
16th Sep- #AAPkeyNetasAbandon on “chota times now” -
Do You know why he went to finland?? not for eating ice cream, but for this- .This is Manish, four years back in 2013 praising Finland education system and wishing that we follow them.
So next time if you wonder Why is AAP always seen confronting and fighting and shouting, realize that positive news mentioned in first 20 points is boring, it has no masala(spice) and won’t get any channel TRPs. So AAP ends up being their favourite punching bag, everyone loves to see punches!!
P.S.- Don’t judge AAP by their antics but by their governance. Let me put it in an objective/quantitative way. Try to find any other CM who has completely delivered 30% of his manifesto in first 1.5 years. I am not counting deliverables whose budget is allocated or whose delivery has started or completion date is in near future.
Arvind has completely delivered about 22(read comments) out of his 70 promises in the manifesto. That too despite so much benevolence from central govt. Isn't 30% delivery astonishing, considering the time he spends on fighting center, expanding AAP nationwide. Also considering he doesn’t have the power to chose/reprimand his own bureaucrats.
I’ll end this with a quote from the education minister himself-
This country’s future cannot be decided by the PM, the CM or Dy CM.
Our future will be decided by what happens in our classrooms.
This article was first published in Quora.