After a delay of seven months, north MCD sends ‘incomplete’ sets of textbooks to schools
The south and the east municipal corporations have already distributed books among students enrolled in their schools. However, schools run by the north civic body are still found wanting in this regard.Updated: Oct 19, 2020, 12:00 IST
Seven months into the academic session, a large number of students enrolled in schools run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation are still waiting for their textbooks, senior officials have told HT, a delay that has further disrupted a session where several students are struggling to access classes online. Further, officials at some schools, where textbooks arrived last week — after more than half the academic session is over — alleged that they have received incomplete sets of books.
The south and the east municipal corporations have already distributed books among students enrolled in their schools. However, schools run by the north civic body are still found wanting in this regard.
The north MCD runs over 700 schools, where around 350,000 students are enrolled.
The principal of a north MCD school in Kirari said a majority of their students do not have access to online education, and in the absence of textbooks, have largely been left out of the learning entirely this session.
“Parents of most of our students are daily wage workers, which is why they do not regularly collect worksheets for their children from the school. If these students have textbooks, they will at least read or write something at home. If this continues, I fear it will be really difficult to get them back to the classrooms when schools reopen,” said the principal, who asked not to be named.
To bridge the existing digital divide, schools run by the state government and civic bodies have been providing hard copies of assignment sheets to students who do not own the requisite electronic devices.
Several principals said their schools received textbooks last week, but not for all classes.
The principal at a north MCD school in Jahangirpuri said they have not received books for classes 4 and 5.
“How are you supposed to teach students using just worksheets? They need books. The books for classes 1 to 3 arrived after seven months, and now we don’t know how much time it will take to get the renaming sets of books,” the principal said.
Despite several attempts, north MCD Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti did not respond to texts and calls requesting comment.
North Delhi mayor Jai Prakash said the delay was down to the prevailing situation and a lack of funds.
“We have now started sending textbooks to the schools. We have already sent some books to schools of at least five zones. The schools who received half the books will get the remaining sets in the coming weeks,” he said.