We have to celebrate the parent-teacher meetings like a festival. They will now be a regular feature in the schools run by the Delhi government—Manish Sisodia, Delhi education minister
Interactions between parents and teachers are the norm in private schools. But in government schools, regular parent-teacher meetings, or PTMs, are unheard of.
In Delhi, however, the last Saturday of July saw every government school holding PTMs in an effort to get the parents involved in improving education in the 'Sarkari' schools.
In what was a first ever instance of a simultaneous parent-teacher interaction in all government-run schools in the capital, long queues of parents were seen outside several schools. A Delhi government functionary said thousands of parents visited the schools, where they got to meet the teachers as well as the principal. The meetings gave the parents a platform to discuss their wards' progress and understand the prevalent teaching standards at these schools, he added.
There was a mela-like atmosphere in the schools, which were done up with artwork made by the children, and in some schools, the parents were welcomed with flowers. Some parents said they took leave from work to attend the PTM, which had been much publicised by Delhi government.
Around 16 lakh students in Delhi study in government schools that number around a thousand, which are severely criticised for inadequate infrastructure, not enough teachers, poorly qualified teaching staff and low teaching standards.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, himself visited several schools in the morning to get a first-hand experience of how the interactions happened. He said he got a sense of the issues that were thrown up in the discussions between the parents and the teachers.
“We have to celebrate the parent-teacher meetings like a festival. They will now be a regular feature in the schools run by the Delhi government,” Sisodia said.
The Delhi government has decided to hold the parent-teacher meetings every quarter.
“I noted how students are happy that teachers were praising them in front of their parents. Such meetings will inspire not just students but parents and teachers as well,” he said.
The Delhi government had instructed officials of the Education Department to be available in their offices to meet parents and answer their queries as well take feedback from them on the day of PTM.
Sisodia also issued a letter addressed to the parents, in which he said there was no dearth of teaching talent in Delhi government schools, but what was lacking was a proper atmosphere and infrastructure.
He said his government was aiming to impart training of international standards to teachers and principals. Besides, the state machinery, he said, was building more classrooms, ensuring cleanliness on the school premises and providing proper infrastructure such as green boards and proper seats for the children.