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Government Schools Will Soon Have Free 'Hobby Hubs'

This initiative will only be implemented in single shift government schools during the 2022-2023 academic year. The goal is to maximise the usage of school infrastructure and to use it outside school hours to promote these extracurricular activities.

Shruti Kandwal

To encourage extracurricular activities among school children, the Delhi government intends to establish "Hobby Hubs" in government schools, where private entities, NGOs, or individuals will be permitted to use its facilities to provide free training to students in activities such as music, dance, and art and craft.

Initially, instructions will be delivered to students in single-shift schools after school hours under the planned program.

On Wednesday, the directorate of education (DoE) asked for online submissions from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions that provide training in these activities. Prospective applicants have until May 6 to complete application forms. "Academies/individuals/NGOs will be required to give free training to students of the Directorate of Education's schools," the DoE stated in a circular released on Wednesday.

According to the circular, the organizations can only charge fees to private students if they ensure that at least half of the students getting trained are from the government institution in question. "Students of the school concerned will not be refused entry to hobby classes given at their school, even if the number of government school students surpasses 50% of total students enrolled," the circular read.

Schools have been given the authority to determine which activities to launch in their schools depending on the needs and interests of their students. There are five broad categories of activities: dance (Indian classical, folk dance, Indian contemporary, and Western); music (Indian classical, folk dance, Indian contemporary, and Western); technical (coding, computers, photoshop, and social media marketing); literary (book club, calligraphy, oration, foreign, and Indian languages); and 'others' (yoga, garment work, photography, and radio jockey).

According to Awadhesh Kumar Jha, principal of Sarvodaya Co-ed Vidyalaya in Rohini, Sector 8, while extracurricular clubs existed in schools previous to the epidemic, the Hobby Hubs project aimed at reorienting students' mindsets toward job creation and entrepreneurship.

"We do not look beyond academics in our culture." This effort will allow children to gain skills in a variety of activities while also recognizing their creative abilities. They can even choose to work in their industries and generate jobs for others," Jha explained.

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