The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Union Public Service Commission and the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board to explain within three weeks the delay in filling the vacancies of over 6,000 teachers in government-run schools in the capital.
A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari issued notices to the UPSC and DSSSB after Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta told the court in an affidavit that it would take at least two years to fill the vacancies due to procedural delays on the part of the two bodies involved in the selection process.
“Is this the way the Chief Secretary files an affidavit when we are talking about right to education? How can he file such an affidavit?” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi, who represented the Delhi Government.
“You talk about right to education and providing free and compulsory education to all children below 14 years. But all this seems to be only on paper for public consumption,” the bench said, and asked the Director of School Education to appear before it on February 7.
Asking the government to change its attitude towards education, the bench said: “If you continue with your attitude, then in another 10 years China would become the world's largest English- speaking nation in the world.”
“Today, if you go to China, all little children there speak in English. In another 10 years, they will overtake you.”
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2004 by Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation, highlighting the plight of government-run schools in Delhi, which lacked basic facilities like drinking water, toilets and buildings, was earlier.
The bench said that posts of over 5,500 Trained Graduate Teachers, 560 Post Graduate Teachers, 117 Principals and 95 Vice Principals were lying vacant since 2007.
The court also asked the MCD to file a separate affidavit to explain the infrastructure facilites in the 1,721-odd schools run by the civic body after petitioner’s counsel Ravinder Bana pointed out that the many of MCD schools were being run in tents and they lacked even the basic facilities like potable water and toilets.
As directed by the court, the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), set up by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development for capacity building and research in planning and management of education, has filed an affidavit giving details about the conditions of government-run schools across India. The court would consider it on February 17.