Delhi govt, MCD schools hold first-ever joint parent-teacher meeting

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Delhi government and MCD schools across the capital held their first-ever joint parents-teacher meeting (PTM) Sunday, which was aimed at encouraging parents to ensure their kids attend the Mission Buniyaad summer camp in May.

Mission Buniyaad had been launched for children in Delhi government and municipal body schools with the stated aim of ensuring there is “no child in any class who cannot read his/her textbook or solve basic numericals in Maths”. The main component of the programme is the “summer camp” which is held during the vacation between May and July.

Following this, students, who are still behind, continue to be mentored and monitored through monthly assessments.

Tweeting about the exercise, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Today, a mega PTM is being held in both MCD and Delhi government schools in Delhi. Just as Delhi government schools have been transformed with the help of all students, teachers, and parents, we will now work together to transform MCD schools as well.”

Education Minister Atishi and Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohammed Iqbal interacted with parents at SKV Phase 1 Pocket 4 Mayur Vihar and MCD School Block 22 Trilokpuri.

Expressing her delight at the number of parents who had turned up, Atishi said, “This shows that parents eagerly want to participate in their children’s education. After Delhi government schools, now this opportunity will be provided to parents in MCD schools too. The education revolution that was brought in Delhi government schools will now be brought to MCD schools too.”

The Indian Express visited an MCD school in Andrews Ganj to sit in on one such meeting and interact with parents of students in classes 3 to 5 who were invited to the PTM as well as teachers.

The school’s entrance and corridors were decorated with colourful paper art which students and teachers had been working on for about a month. Parents were guided to classrooms labelled I to V based on the performance of their children in regular assessments – I being beginner level and V being an exceptional performer.

Ashima (30), a domestic worker in Defence Colony, was among the parents in attendance. Her daughter, Riyana, is in Class 5. “The principal and teachers called us for the PTM, so I came to school early in the morning. The teachers are encouraging us to send our children for the summer camp but I am not sure whether I can send my daughter,” she said.

She said she was the only one working and taking care of her three children and wanted to take them to her village during vacation so her extended family could pitch in to keep an eye on them.

Another parent, Sanju (34), said: “Two of my kids studied here, they are now in senior school. My third child, Shweta (9), is currently studying here in Class 4. I come for every PTM, they tell us how to take care of our children and teach them at home. I have not sent my child to the summer camp since the lockdown. Last year, we went back to our village… but this year, I will send my daughter.”

“Mission Buniyaad helps children who need help with studies,” Sanju added.

Speaking to The Indian Express, school principal Indu Batra said, “Most parents of students in our schools visit their villages during the summer. As a result, there are high chances of their kids missing the summer camp. Today, we invited them here to explain the importance of the camp and to make sure there is no learning loss after they come back post vacation.”

The school has about six primary teachers, a nursery teacher, a music teacher, a special educator and a counsellor. Out of 150 students in classes 3-5, parents of 119 students attended.

Each classroom also had a feedback form so the parent could provide inputs on the child’s progress. Post the interaction, an activity session was held in the computer lab where parents were guided to identify good qualities in their children and encouraged to share the expectations they have from the school and their children.

Saloni Senapati (26), who is associated with the Simple Education Foundation, said the summer camp is an extension of the kind of assessment they do in classrooms. The foundation works closely with the school to create safe spaces for parents and children and works along with educators to make education accessible to everyone.

Said Senapati, “We hold assessments during the camps too, but we try to make them more fun by asking the kids to participate in activities. Assessments are levelled, and these can be as simple as addition, subtraction, but are different from the normal periodic assessments. Through this camp, we are aiming that the child at level 1 should move up to level two.”

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