Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM, spoke about the Delhi Business Blaster program and the goal of creating an entrepreneurial mindset among students. Quotes.
What initiatives is the Delhi government taking in the education sector?
We have been working hard in Delhi for the last six-seven years, especially in the government school department. Infrastructure such as teacher motivation and teacher training has improved. Now the results are the highest ever, with 99 to 100 percent pass out. Our next focus is entrepreneurship, for which we have launched a program called ‘Business Blasters’. Under this program, we are giving each student IN 200, following which they can form their group and invest money in some innovative ideas from which they can also earn. The whole purpose of this program is to motivate them to become successful entrepreneurs. We recently conducted a pilot of this project, and we realized that students from poor families have done really well and benefited a lot from it.
Why is the focus on entrepreneurship in primary and secondary education?
We are not asking students to be entrepreneurs, we want to work with their mentality. Anyone coming in for a job or business needs an entrepreneurial mindset. Unemployment is a problem, the development of the country. When we have the best entrepreneurs in our country, we have the best companies in our country and we have the best economic conditions in the country, that is why we are working on it.
There are more entrepreneurs in job training. With that said, how is the Delhi government recruiting suitable manpower to teach the students?
Students are learning on their own, given opportunities and seed money. They are investing and learning from it. I’m not saying they should run their business for life, but only for a short time. If you fail, you can learn from it, if you succeed, take it forward or you can leave it to someone to study. The idea is to prepare young people for the country’s economy. If you do not add value to the country’s economy, then you are not an asset to the country.
Can you tell us about some of the success stories that have emerged from the pilot project you are running?
We started the entrepreneurial mentality course two years ago. Then came Kovid and the schools were not working the way they should. Seeing this we started the Seed Finance project which is one of the components of the entrepreneurial mindset curriculum. Under the pilot project, students at a school were given seed money and asked to come up with their own ideas. They eventually came up with their own ideas and many of them were innovative. Although some were conventional, students were willing to work on business planning, research, and raw materials. For example, two students who formed a group took R 2000 from the system and multiplied it by 26,000. There were nine different teams at this school, and each team won. Two students knew how to paint, and five others who could market, design and sell took IN 7,000 from us and are now making huge profits. One student said I wanted to do OTP password sharing business, and now he’s doing it nicely. Another group is selling their own Bluetooth speakers online. The ultimate benefit is a confident student, a critical student who is ready to learn from failure.
Do we have mentorship and incubation facilities in the ‘Business Blaster’ program?
How do you persuade parents to encourage an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ in children without compromising their learning?
I’m not telling them to start a company, I’m telling them to learn to run a company. If you can do this, you can be a good employee for a company, especially one looking for a leadership position, to lead a team. But if you don’t have an entrepreneurial mindset, no one would like to hire you. If you have the mentality, it will help you in your work. Not only this, with the help of fire you can do welding. It will help you to be an asset to the country, not a liability. An unemployed person with the highest degree, although many problems and so many problems are looking for talent, you can not solve the problem. As a result, you become a liability.
What steps is the Delhi government generally taking to improve the quality of education?
We started by improving the infrastructure of the public school system which was in a very dilapidated condition. We have started sending teachers for IIM training, Cambridge training and Singapore training. Now we have batch teachers who are self-motivated, and they are in a better position to do something new. We have worked to improve the results, which people first look at when analyzing an education system As results improve, we focus on the actual content of education. If the student is not confident in doing something creatively, then we have to work towards it. Initiatives like ‘Happiness Curriculum’, ‘Entrepreneurship Curriculum’. We have also set up an examination board in Delhi, where IB is a partner.