And you thought education was meant to uplift. It has had the opposite effect on 1.5 lakh students studying in primary schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). A paucity of resources has brought down these children from chairs onto mats.
The lackadaisical attitude of the civic body towards the problem can be gauged by the fact that such treatment has been meted out to students for the past six years.
“The samples for desks-cum-chairs that we sent to the Sri Ram laboratory were being rejected. Once the samples did get approved, the matter was referred to court and we were unable to procure new chairs and tables,” said Prithvi Raj Sawhney, chairman of the education committee of the MCD. He added, “In every school there is some shortage and we have made arrangements of mats for them to sit on. The matter will be resolved soon.” Over 9 lakh students study in MCD-run primary schools.
According to the civic body, they would be purchasing around 70,000 desks-cum-chair for senior classes. “For senior classes we have decided to get new desks-cum-chair but for junior classes, the samples are yet to be approved. If the matter doesn’t get resolved soon we will provide junior students bigger desks too,” he added.
Mayor Kanwar Sain said he was unaware of the problem. “I have not received any complaint regarding shortage of chairs,” he said.
This is not the only instance where the civic body has failed to provide basic infrastructure to its schools. Many MCD students will also be forced to study underneath makeshift tents this year.
Recently, the civic body sought permission to put up 362 makeshift tents and 1,086 kanats (canopies) for students as it was yet to construct new school buildings, which it had promised to do last year.