Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday informed that a total of 1,74,000 government school students, also called mentees, have been taught by 44,000 mentors under the state government’s ‘Desh ke Mentor’ programme, as per report.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Sisodia said, “We had received a total of 2,20,000 applications from Delhi government students. Of these, 1,74,000 have been mentored. As for the mentors, of the 44,000 mentors, nearly 500 each are from IIT and IIM, 15,600 are either doing their graduation or Ph.D from a well-known education institute and 7,500 have completed their studies and are currently working at a good post.”
Launched in October 2021, the ‘Desh ke Mentor’ programme aims to provide voluntary mentors to students from Classes 9 to 12. An app developed by Delhi Technological University allows those aged 18 to 35 to sign up to be mentors.
“Those who volunteered to be mentors are made to undergo a psychometric test, their educational background is taken care of and they are trained accordingly, only after which they are assigned a mentee. We have also ensured that mentees are only assigned mentors of the same gender.” Manish Sisodia said.
The mentor is supposed to offer 10 minutes every week for a minimum period of two months, which can be extended for up to four months, as part of the programme. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has examined the programme and advised that it be discontinued until the “loopholes” in its safety be addressed.
Last year, the Commission received a complaint from one Lalit Wadher, who alleged that the service exposes children to danger by allowing them to interact with “unknown persons.” AAP senior leader Sisodia and MLA Atishi have accused the BJP of using the committee to play politics with the situation.
Delhi Deputy CM pointed out, “A BJP activist from Chhattisgarh has filed a complaint with NCPCR, who in return asked us about the steps we have taken to ensure children’s safety. After we have answered each and every question of theirs, NCPCR has stated that no police verification is being done of mentees.”
“NCPCR has further said that there is a probability of child trafficking via phone calls and asked is there any mechanism to prevent the origin of cybercrime and child trafficking,” According to Sisodia, the commission has urged to “Immediately suspend the concerned scheme initiative.” due to the above-mentioned reasons.
“We have seen the status of education infrastructure in the BJP-led states, the party should work in their respective states and not intervene in the progress of those who are actually working to make a change,” he added.