Mission Buniyaad, that aims at improving the learning standards in the schools of Delhi have come with a plan of conducting separate examinations for the students who can’t read and write. The syllabus for both the examination will also be different. The Directorate of Education notified the same for students of classes VI-VIII, in a circular dated August 2. Though the government is planning to implement this, the teachers are bit skeptical about this. They are not sure if such selective teaching and assessment will help the children. “We have already divided them into different groups… giving them different sets of papers could psychologically affect the child,” said an English teacher claimed to our sources.
Earlier in 2016, the Delhi government started ‘Chunauti 2018’, in which after a detailed baseline research work it was found out that 74% of students studying in the sixth standard were not able to read even class II course books. Under the Mission Buniyaad scheme, students were divided into groups — Pratibha, for those who could read and write as per their grade, and Nistha, for those who could not.
Chanauti was stretched to Mission Buniyaad in April, and included children from classes III-VII and also spread to the MCD schools in the area. Under the mission, the schools got instructed to separate the students into four categories - New Nishta, Nishta, New Pratibha and Pratibha.
Under New Nishta were those children who couldn’t recognise Hindi letter, and numbers, while New Nista comprised of children who were not able to read words, and could not count, add or subtract. The children who were unable to decipher Hindi mantras, multiplication and division, were put in New Pratibha, and those who were able to read and write were put under Pratibha. The scheme was then extended till 30th July.
Once it was completed, a probe showed that 48.7% of the total number of 1,67,248 children were now able to comprehend age-appropriate text. For Class VII, the percentage for the same stood at 61% (out of a total of 1,84,325 students), while for Class VIII, it was 67.9% (total - 1,89,409). According to the circular put up, the children who lie under the Nishta category will not be taught the syllabus in its entirety. It stated, “For the first term — till the mid-term exam in September 2018 — the number of topics to be covered have been significantly reduced,”.
The Headmistress has also been told that no student from any group should be moved to Pratibha, as “students in Pratibha have already covered a significant portion of the syllabus”. As per the sources, it has been stated that “The assessment paper for students, particularly the Nishta group, during mid-term, will have questions from limited topics. Emphasis will be on assessing reading, understanding, and ability to write a response.”