A tussle has broken out between some schools of the government’s education department and the Delhi Right to Education Forum.
The latter, which has been prohibited from entering the premises of these schools for an inspection of the infrastructure, has claimed that the schools have defied the RTI order that authorises them to undertake the inspection.
The forum comprises 16 non-government organisations working in the field of education.
An audit of 60 such government schools conducted by the forum earlier, had revealed that students and teachers in these schools had no access to clean toilets and regular water supply.
“The principals of government schools have now forbidden parents from entering the schools too, because when you go inside you will find that the infrastructure is very poor. This includes unclean toilets, broken tables and chairs and classrooms in poor condition. This attitude goes against the very ethos of the Right to Education Act,” said Saurabh Sharma, who works with JOSH, an NGO that works in the education sector.
Following the first audit, some schools such as Rajkiya Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya School in Najafgarh, Kalyanpuri, Mayur Vihar and Jangpura and Sarvodaya Co-Ed Education School in Shastri Park received an order from the additional director of education (ADE), Sunita Kaushik, which stated that no inspection of the infrastructure facilities had been ordered by any authority and no NGO or person was allowed to carry out an audit without the prior authorisation of the department.
Contrary to this, however, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the schools to make available records of admission, students’ and teachers’ attendance, budget and expenditure records and other disbursements.
“We had conducted the first audit in September but Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh said no audit was carried out. We had to do our second audit on Monday. But schools in Jangpura, Sarai Kale Khan and Mayur Vihar refused to let us enter saying they had orders from the ADE to prohibit inspection. They are going against the CIC orders,” added Sharma.