In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Delhi government held Parent Teacher Meetings (PTMs) in more than 1000 government schools in the national capital to assess the performances of students. Parents of around 16 lakh students studying in 2500 government schools in Delhi today attended a “Mega PTM” (Parents Teacher Meeting) organised to bring the quality of education at par with that imparted in private schools.
Excited parents turned up for the occasion in large numbers in spite of the incessant rain. The parents queued up at the schools waiting for their turn to listen to feedback about their ward’s performance by the teachers. Everything about the student was discussed right from poor handwriting or weakness in math or language. Parents were also informed about the positive aspects of the child’s personality and performance, like good behavior and leadership skills.
For the parents from economically weaker section the interaction with the school helped them feel empowered in the real sense. Parents who are unable to send their kids to expensive private schools and are perhaps not educated enough to keep a check on their activities and performance need to be updated about their children’s weaknesses and strengths too.
All in all it was a fulfilling exercise for both parents and teachers. Parents spoke up openly about their concerns like the level of English and maths taught and gave suggestions such as extra classes for the weaker students.
“I could not have missed this opportunity as I had a lot of queries and suggestions,” said Sandhya, mother of Roshan Tyagi (Class 8) of Government Boys Senior Secondary School in Kalkaji.
The principal said, “We have had registered over 90 per cent attendance from the parents and would compile the interactions and report it to the Delhi Government.”
The interactions were lively and reflected the collective aspirations of parents to provide better education to their wards, he said.
The PTM were conducted in two shifts. A letter from State Education Minister Manish Sisodia, detailing the achievements of the government in education was also distributed among the parents.
“More than 70 per cent parents showed up for the meeting,”said Sandhya Singh, vice-principal Sarvodaya Vidyalaya.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia visited several schools. He interacted with parents, students and teachers and said he was pleased to see the overwhelming response to the government’s initiative.
“Today PTMs have been organised in all government schools and parents of 16 lakh students have been invited today to attend the meeting. This is a new experiment and parents are excited about it as they are being involved in the schooling of their children.
“This is another step towards bringing the quality of education being imparted in government schools at par with that of private schools,” Sisodia told reporters.
“So far, the PTMs were not held in government schools at all. But now the PTM will be held biannually in government schools,” he said.
“The focus of the PTM will be to encourage one-to-one communication between parents and teachers. The parents should celebrate the occasion as it is being held to improve the quality of education in schools,” he added.
During the PTM, the government will also apprise the parents about the initiatives taken by the government to improve the quality of education in its schools. Parents termed the initiative to be an apt “start” for working towards improved education standards in government schools.
He also urged the parents to give feedback and share the grievances during the meeting. Sisodia also announced that on every Friday between 12 pm and 1 pm, the education officials would be available at their offices to meet the parents and register their complaints or feedback.
However, the initiative was overshadowed by an alleged suicide of a girl who ended her life after her mother received negative feedback about her during a PTM at Government Senior Secondary School in Khayala area.
BJP attacked the AAP government for making the PTM a “mega political show” alleging it resulted in suicide of the 12-year-old girl.
In order to make parents of government school students as “stakeholders” of education, Sisodia had earlier this week made an announcement for the Mega PTM which he described as first positive dialogue between parents and teachers.
“Welcoming teams have been formed to look after the parents during the meeting. Separate budget allocation is also made to organise to the PTMs,” he told reporters here.