Delhi government to set up 12 schools of applied learning: Minister Atishi

Schools will be a model for KG to class 12 education in coming years. The curriculum can be application-based rather than rote learning based till class 8, says Atishi.

Delhi government to set up 12 schools of applied learning: Minister Atishi Delhi Education Minister Atishi. (Picture: Official Twitter)
Press Trust of India | Mar 30, 2023 - 2:50 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: After 'Schools of Specialised Excellence', Delhi will now get 12 'Schools of Applied Learning' from the coming year where the focus will be on applicability of skills learnt in curriculum rather than rote learning, Delhi Education Minister Atishi said.

The education sector has received the highest allocation in the Delhi government's budget ever since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in the city, she said. The Delhi Budget presented by Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot recently had allocated Rs 16,575 crore for the education department for the year 2023-24, the highest among all sectors.

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"From the time Arvind Kejriwal became the chief minister of Delhi, education has in every budget got the highest allocation. In the first few years, the focus was on sorting out the basics to ensure that infrastructure is in place, proper cleanliness is there in schools, there is proper training of teachers, but now the focus is how education really has to happen in classrooms," Atishi told PTI in an interview.

The government already has the model of Schools of Specialised Excellence where students from class 9 onwards get to choose what will be their grade of specialisation. Already, there are several streams of specialisation -- STEM, performing arts, humanities, higher 21st century skills, she said.

"From the coming year, another form of school called the School of Applied Learning (SoAL) has been budgeted. This school will run right from nursery to class 12. The focus will not just be on regular disciplines, but what is their applicability in the daily day to day lives of students and the world around," she added.

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Explaining about the system, the minister said education will be divided into three parts -- the primary years programme, the middle years programme and the third part will be focussed on different skills that can be utilised for the students' participation in the economy. Twelve of these schools will be set up in the coming year.

"These schools will be a model for our KG to class 12 education in coming years. We have a tie-up IB Board on how the curriculum can be application-based rather than rote learning based till class 8. "From Grade 9 onwards, students will get to participate and interact with leaders from different industries so that by the time they finish their education, they are not just in a position to think about what it is they want to pursue, but they have already had that exposure to a high number of fields, industries and businesses," she opined.

Can these schools be called an extension of the government's Business Blasters and Entrepreneurship Mindset curriculum? "So far, a lot of these programmes have been implemented. For example, in a piecemeal manner along with the regular curricula running in our school.

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The School of Applied learning really focuses on creating an alternative and presenting that vision right from nursery to class 12. "What is it that a student should be taught that is applicable in their real life rather than what is mugged up in the exam and then forgotten for the rest of their lives," she explained. The government has 12 new buildings for these schools and thereafter after this pilot, existing schools will also be converted into SoAL. There will be two kinds of schools in Delhi -- School of Specialised Excellence and School of Applied Learning, Atishi added.

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