Project Pragati, a learning enrichment programme is initiated by Directorate of Education only for class IX last year. Now it is being revised and extended by DoE and will be made to cover the core subjects of all the grades from class VI to IX in all the government schools of Delhi, five core subjects and roughly impact nine lakh students.
The course material put together by the department's teachers with support from the NGO, Pratham and printed by the Delhi Bureau to Textbooks was ready by February and about 24,000 teachers who teach classes VI to X were oriented over five days ending on April 7. The programme itself will continue till the summer vacations start.
Crucially, the supplementary material being put together by the department is largely in Hindi with some expressions rendered in English. While DoE officials concede there is high demand for English-medium teaching now, instruction in the vernacular is a requirement of the Right to Education Act, 2009. The plan to divide classes into segments according to the students learning levels, piloted only at the 54 model schools last year, has been shelved altogether.
Shailendra Kumar Sharma, originally from Pratham and now advising the director, education, says the supplementary material in the shape of thin workbooks or booklets is appropriate for the diversity in a government school classroom. He explains that they are not touching the syllabus. There are new stories in the material and worksheets. Many activities are suggested. Some the students can complete independently, some have to be attempted in groups with teachers facilitating. This will help with peer-learning.
Anil Teotia, principal of the District Institute for Education and Training (DIET), Dilshad Garden, adds that the enrichment programme will ensure that students start on the syllabus this year with their concepts clear. For instance, for Class VI, we will cover Class V. This will be followed by a dip-stick survey to check the progress made. Other adjustments have been made to accommodate this. Teachers have been largely relieved of non-academic work, they have to set only monthly targets and not weekly.