Winter is already making its presence felt in the city. However, no one has felt the cold more than the students of municipal schools, who have been forced to battle the chill daily due to the absence of woollen uniforms. Moreover, these students are being forced to sit on the floor as the procurement of new desks has been delayed.
Blame it on bureaucratic mismanagement or political inefficiency, as many as 4.5 lakh children studying in 790 schools of the north corporation are yet to receive Rs. 500 meant for buying woollen uniforms. Usually, students are given the money to purchase uniforms — jersey, pants, socks and shoes — by October. But they have not got the money this year.
Apart from the grant for uniforms, the allowance of Rs. 120 per student for buying school bags has also not been given. Students have also not been supplied notebooks. Shortage of teachers has only compounded their problems.
Leaders of the north corporation said on Monday that none of the 4.5 lakh students studying in their schools had received the money. In south corporation, more than 50,000 students studying in South zone and Najafgarh zone have also not received the funds.
The delay in distribution of money has happened despite the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) initiating the process in 2007-08 for the benefit of students.
Admitting that the money had not been given to the school principals, Rekha Gupta, chairperson of the education committee, North Corporation, said, “The issue is a cause of worry.” “Apart from uniform, students have also not received notebooks and desks have not been procured. I've raised the issue regarding recruitment of teachers before the officials concerned, including the commissioner,” she added.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of north corporation has sought a week's time to disburse the cheques.
“All principals will receive the money in a week's time. As far as notebooks and desks are concerned, it is being reviewed and the tender process would be started by the end of December,” said Gupta.