To ensure that neighbourhood schools running in the city do not head towards closure, MCD has written to the Union urban development (UD) minister, asking him to make eligibility guidelines flexible.
As per Delhi Master Plan 2021 guidelines, all primary schools in the city need to have at least 800 sqm of land and a plot area of 0.2 to 0.4 hectares. But a number of private schools do not meet this criterion.
With urban development minister Kamal Nath emphasising the need for a review of the Master Plan, MCD too wants this issue to be addressed.
There are about 2,800 primary schools in Delhi, of which 757 are recognised by the MCD. Most are small neighbourhood schools. Also, 400-odd schools are still waiting MCD recognition as they do not fulfil the eligibility criteria.
“We have suggested that the area limit should be lowered to 300 sqm but the proposal is still pending with the government. We are now planning to meet the minister to tackle this issue,” said Mahender Nagpal, chairman of MCD’s education committee.
According to the MCD officials, all these schools will not be able to fulfil the criteria. “If we follow the Right to Education guidelines, most schools will have to be shut down. In any part of the city, constructing a primary school with 800 sqm area will cost nearly Rs 8 crore,” said a senior MCD official.
“We have requested the government to make the rules flexible,” added Nagpal.