Atishi Marlena – The first time I heard this name back in 2013, she was one among the many unconventional politicians from Aam Aadmi Party. Now in 2018, she is one of the few optimistic faces still left in AAP. After all the highs and lows the party has seen, many have started doubting its credibility. But people like her still give us faith in alternative politics, especially her work in the education sector makes you believe that complex issues can be fixed in India.
Being a graduate of Oxford University, she could have easily got into any high paying job, but she decided to dedicate her efforts to education in India and start her professional career as a teacher at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. Later on, she became the advisor to Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
Ironically, her appointment as advisor to Manish Sisodia was cancelled at the insistence of the Centre in April. But that did not stop her from doing her work to improve government education. In the recent results of CBSE class XII examinations, the government schools of Delhi have recorded a jump of 2.37% over 2017, to stand at 90.64 percent, this is 7.6% higher than the national CBSE average, the best results in 20 years! I am sure this is what she meant when she said: “Fixing education is not rocket science” in her celebratory interview with NDTV.
This is something we rarely see in India as the education sector is mainly dominated by rich and powerful private sector schools. And these results showcase the gems government schools can produce:
Prince Kumar – Topper of Science stream in Class 12, son of a DTC bus driver, who has got 97% with 100/100 in Maths, 99/100 Eco, 98/100 in Chemistry.
Prachi Prakash – Topper of Commerce stream in Class 12. Daughter of a small private company executive, she got 96.2% with 100/100 in Eco, 99/100 in Math.
I remember watching her in a debate about the quality of education in January last year. I was inspired by her openness to take in criticism and willingness to do something to improve the situation.
It’s amazing to see that all that she planned and promised is being delivered in a short span of time.
This is what politics should be about. The leaders should have the transparency to showcase the current situation and their plans for improvement and more importantly they should have the dedication to walk the talk.
I hope other leaders, especially in the education sector, get inspired by Atishi’s exemplary results and improve the conditions of government schools across India. Kudos to Atishi and her team once again.