Come July and the education of thousands of children in Delhi will be under a cloud. Literally.
Students enrolled with hundreds of schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will have to attend classes under tents surrounded by kanats (makeshift cloth screens) this monsoon.
Reason: the MCD has been unable to fulfil its last year’s promise of completing a number of school buildings before the rains set in.
Even last year, 634 MCD schools had functioned from tents in the absence of proper school buildings.
This monsoon, the MCD is planning to put up 362 tents and 1,086 kanats. The proposal for this will be placed in the MCD’s Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday.
MCD Commissioner KS Mehra said the number of students studying in these schools has increased over the past year, hence the tents are being put up to meet the demand.
“There has been an increase in the enrolment and we have to provide them a place to study. These tents are merely an alternative and once the buildings are complete, we will shift the students to them,” said Mehra.
There are altogether 1,761 municipal school buildings serving over nine lakh students.
“Quite a few school buildings have now been declared as dangerous, so holding classes there is not possible. Also, the construction of many new buildings is yet to begin,” said a senior MCD official.
The civic body had sanctioned Rs 300 crore last year for constructing nearly 300 all-weather school buildings. As per the MCD’s records, till January 31, 2009, 1,498 buildings that are to be completed this year were under construction.