At MCD school in Jahangirpuri, not a single week of regular classes in 5 months
Officials at the school said they could not conduct proper classes because the school had not been allotted the required number of teachers yet. However, these students are expected to write their first-term exams from Tuesday.Updated: Sep 10, 2018 13:07 IST
In the past five months, Class 2 students at a school run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Jahangirpuri reportedly did not attend regular classes even for a single week.
Officials at the school said they could not conduct proper classes because the school had not been allotted the required number of teachers yet. However, these students are expected to write their first-term exams from Tuesday.
Currently, the school has 15 teachers for around 1,800 students — a ratio of one teacher for around 120 students. The figure is far more than the mandated student-teacher ratio of 35:1 as per the Rights to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
“Either the teachers don’t come to take classes or they make us sit with the students of other sections. The students make so much noise. It’s difficult to understand what teachers say,” said a Class 2 student at the school.
This school, however, is not an isolated case. As many as 400 schools operating under the jurisdiction of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation are facing similar crises as the corporation has not renewed the contracts of more than 700 guest teachers this year.
“How can we expect the teachers to teach around 150 to 200 students at a time? Parents are also complaining that their children have not learned anything and will not be able to appear for exams. It’s difficult to convince them to send the children to school in such a situation,” said an official at the school.
A senior civic body official, who did not wish to be named, said this is one of the key reasons why the drop-out rate in MCD schools is high. According to a study conducted by NGO Praja Foundation last year, the drop-out rate at the schools run by the three civic corporations was around 6 per cent.
The north civic body runs 760 schools that accommodate more than 250,000 students up to Class 5.
Ramniwas Solanki, general secretary, Municipal Corporation of Teachers’ Association, said the situation is particularly unprecedented this year. “The teachers working in these schools are overburdened as each one of them is taking care of 150 to 200 students. How can we accept them to give their 100 per cent?” he said.
Officials, however, said that the process of contract renewal is underway. “We received data from the schools on August 31. The contracts of teachers will be renewed soon. We have recently renewed the contracts of around 150-200 teachers. We also made alternative arrangements such as transferring teachers according to a need basis,” said Yogendra Singh Mann, the spokesperson for North Delhi and East Delhi corporations.
Parents claim that students at the schools run by the north civic body are also yet to receive notebooks, which they are entitled under the RTE Act. “There are no teachers nor are there any notebooks. What will the children learn in this situation?” said another parent.
The civic body officials said that parents would be given Rs 300 to buy notebooks soon.
First Published: Sep 10, 2018 13:07 IST