The speed of construction of new classrooms in Delhi government schools has failed to match that of new enrollments. As a result, more than 70 students are forced to cram into a single classroom.
To stem this problem of overcrowding, the Delhi government has decided to build 140 classrooms and the same number of toilets using ‘fast-track technology’. This technology will ensure that the structures are ready in five months.
This is the same technology the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation uses to construct its corridors with pre-fabricated structures.
“If we had opted for traditional methods, construction would have taken more than a year. Already, there are schools in east Delhi where 80 students have been forced to study in a single classroom. So we opted for the fast-track technology, in which complete casting is done on the site. Rather than constructing pillars and then building rooms, a complete room is ready in one go,” said a senior Delhi government official. Since the quality of construction is good, the education department agreed to use this technology.
Education Minister Kiran Walia said construction would start this month.
There are 1,100 government schools being run by the state government. Nearly 15 lakh students are enrolled in these schools and 1.7 lakh study in aided schools. In the past two years, only a few new schools have been constructed, some of which will be fully functional only by next year.
“With the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, we can’t deny anyone admission but the infrastructure is unable to keep pace with the increase in admissions. On an average, one lakh students are added to government schools every year. But the pace of construction is slower. We are hoping to add 34 new school buildings by the next year,” added the official.
Last year, the education department had written to the Delhi government’s revenue department for allotment of land for new school buildings. Figures provided by the education department reveal that on an average four lakh students have been added to government schools in the past three years.