New Delhi, Sep 5: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said every child of Delhi is like his own son and it is his duty to provide for all.
Mr Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia presented the State Teachers Awards on Thursday at the Thyagaraj Stadium here.
Organised on the occasion of Teacher's Day to celebrate the contribution of 87 of Delhi's teachers and Principals, the CM congratulated all teachers and principals for their contribution to the nation.
Mr Kejriwal also laid down the government's vision for education and the teaching profession.
"Every child of Delhi is like my own son. No child is any less important to me than my own son. It is my duty to provide for all of Delhi's people because I consider them as a part of my family,'' he said.
"The biggest mission for us was to fix government schools. We were anxious whether we will succeed in doing that. In just four years, with solid support from teachers and principals, we have reached a point where government schools are just as good as if not better than private schools. We have transformed the entire environment of government schools," he said.
"However for the last year and a half, we felt there continued to be one major issue. I realised that coaching for competitive exams today costs Rs one lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. So despite government schools becoming better, when it comes to competing with children from rich families with money to pay for expensive coaching institutes, poor children often lag behind. To change this, we launched the free coaching scheme," said the Chief Minister.
On the success of the 'Jai Bhim Mukhymantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana', the CM said, "In the past year, the scheme has been so successful at bridging the gap between rich and poor that today we have expanded it to General and OBCs categories as well. In fact, if any child's family income is less than ₹8 lakh per annum and the child wishes to enrol in a coaching institute for competitive exams, the Delhi government will pay for it. You must have seen Vijay's case. His mother is a domestic help and father is a tailor. Through this scheme, today he is studying Chemical Engineering at IIT Delhi."
"I am especially thrilled by Vijay's success because my son has also enrolled this year at the same IIT, in fact with a lower rank. This scheme is actually changing lives of the poor," he said.
Reminiscing about his time as a student in school, Mr Kejriwal said that one teacher had decided the course of his life.
"I had just cleared Class 10 in 1983. I had a Biology teacher, Chopra ma'am who had told me that no matter what I did, I must do the best. I had decided from my childhood that I wanted to be a doctor. I used to be her favourite student because I was a topper. In the AIIMS college then, there were 35 seats and IIT had a 1,500 seats. The only reason I chose to appear for the IIT entrance and not the AIIMS entrance was that the odds seemed better, and per Chopra ma'am I couldn't settle for a second-best medical college,'' he said.
"It is incredible just how much influence a school teacher has on a child's life. In 1985, I joined IIT and in 20 years in 2015, the people of Delhi gave us the responsibility for Delhi. We were such ordinary people but people gave us such a big responsibility. I often used to think that now that I have got this opportunity despite coming from a very ordinary background, what is it that I should do? I decided that I will work towards just one goal - if any child in Delhi wants to go to an IIT, then the lack of resources should never come in the way of them seizing that opportunity," said the CM.
Speaking about the role of teachers in society, he said, "Till 1830, before the introduction of British Education system, teaching was the most sought after profession in India. Delhi government plans to revive that unique system in Delhi, to ensure that the best cream of the society will be brought into the teaching profession and thereby benefitting the future generations."
Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia extended the wishes for Teacher's Day and congratulated the awardee teachers for their excellence and dedication.
He recalled the path-breaking changes that Delhi government brought in the Education Sector in the last four years.
"Recognition of people as well as various stakeholders including the parents is the greatest honour for a teacher," Mr Sisodia said.
He recalled the experience of teachers making real changes in the classrooms in government schools in Delhi irrespective of manifold limitations, during his inspections immediately after he took charge as the Education Minister.
"The most important factor behind the revolutionary 'Delhi Education Model' is taking the teachers and the Principals into confidence, in order to improve the infrastructure and the learning environment in government schools,” he added.
Mr Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia felicitated and awarded 87 teachers in various categories for their selfless service and rigorous efforts to make qualitative changes in the education system in Delhi and shaping the future. (UNI)