“The pain the country’s education system is going through right now is that the education system is not being driven by educationists,” said Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister, Manish Sisodia while speaking at the launch of his book titled ‘Shiksha – My Experiments as an Education Minister’ in Panaji on Thursday. It was released at the hands of chief guest, former principal, Nirmala Institute of Education, Panaji, Rita Paes along with AAP’s state convenor, Elvis Gomes and associate professor of Economics, academic author and columnist, Manasvi Kamat.
Sisodia further said that the education system is being driven, planned, and executed by those who don’t know the ‘e’ of education. “I’m the education minister not because I am an educationist. I’m the education minister because I am part of the winning party. No one is bothered to know whether the person concerned can handle education. Education ministers should be people who know what education is,” said Sisodia.
The author added that even those who become the education secretary or director have never worked in the sector but are selected as secretary or director in the department just because they have cleared the UPSC examinations or are in a particular seniority camp. The book that has been released in Delhi already in both English and Hindi, documents his experiences as an education minister in transforming the public education system in Delhi. Sisodia informed, “This book gives a blow-by-blow account of the pain that teachers are facing in this country, especially government school teachers. These teachers are not considered as teachers rather they are treated as officials sitting on the last line of the chain,” adding that until we work on the education system, our country won’t develop. “Education is the only pipeline through which we can achieve developmental goals,” he added. He also mentioned that the government should take the responsibility and guarantee at the least quality classrooms for the benefit of students.
Speaking about the ‘happiness curriculum’ for school students launched last year by the Delhi government, Sisodia said that according to him education has only two purposes, namely learning to live life happily after completing his education and secondly, understanding how to help others and make them happy. He said: “I believe that even after years of education if you can’t learn to be happy then you have not learnt anything. How you contribute in keeping others happy is the most important part of education.”
As the Delhi government plans to introduce a ‘Deshbhakti’ curriculum in all schools from the next academic year, Sisodia said that students should be taught about nationalism right from their school days so that they become responsible and true patriotic citizens of the country.
He further said that elections have been fought in the name of religion, caste and regionalism, and expressed that the main agenda for elections should be education. “In Delhi our next election will be on the basis of education. If the agenda for polls is education then I’m sure the condition and direction of our country will change,” he concluded.