1.74 000 students mentored under the Delhi Government’s Desh ka Mentor program: Sisodia

NEW DELHI: A total of 1,74,000 Delhi government students, also called mentees, have been tutored by 44,000 mentors under the state government’s “Desh ke Mentor” scheme, Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.

“We have received a total of 2,20,000 applications from Delhi government students. Of these, 1,74,000 were cared for. As for the mentors, out of the 44,000 mentors, almost 500 each are from the IIT and IIM, 15,600 are doing their best both graduating or doing a PhD at a well-known educational institute, and 7,500 have graduated and are currently working in a good position,” Sisodia said this afternoon during a press conference.

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Launched in October 2021, the program aims to provide volunteer mentors to students in grades IX through XII. People between the ages of 18 and 35 can sign up as mentors via an app developed by Delhi Technological University. “Those who have volunteered to be mentors are subjected to a psychometric test, their educational background is taken into account and appropriate training is provided before they are assigned a mentee. We have also made sure that mentees are only matched to mentors of the same gender,” he said.

The program requires the mentor to give 10 minutes each week for a minimum of two months, which can be extended by four months.

The program was recently scrutinized by the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR), which recommended it be suspended until the “vulnerabilities” are “obsolete”.

The commission said it received a portrayal last year from Lalit Wadher, who claimed the scheme allows children to connect with “unknowns” and puts them at risk.

Senior AAP leader Sisodia and MLA Atishi have accused BJP of politics on the matter by involving the commission. “A Chhattisgarh BJP activist made a complaint to NCPCR who in turn asked us about the steps we have taken to keep the children safe. After we answered each and every one of their questions, NCPCR has stated that no police screening will be conducted on mentees,” he stressed.

“NCPCR has further said that there is a likelihood of child trafficking via phone calls and asked if there is a mechanism to prevent the origin of cybercrime and child trafficking,” says Delhi Deputy CM, noting that the commission is out for the above reasons to “Immediately suspend the applicable system initiative.”

“We have seen the status of educational infrastructure in BJP-run states, the party should work in their respective states and not interfere with the progress of those who are actually working to bring about change,” he added.

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