1.7 lakh students wait for uniforms, writing material in Delhi govt schools
Delhi govt’s inspection of 118 schools had revealed that out of the 7.6 lakh students enrolled in classes 1 to 8, almost 1.7 lakh were yet to get the benefits for uniforms and writing materialeducation Updated: Aug 24, 2017 12:18 IST
One in every five students from Class 1 to 8 in Delhi government schools have not received the money they are supposed to get in lieu of writing material and uniform.
The government, on Wednesday, told the Delhi High Court that it inspected 118 schools and found that out of the 7.6 lakh students enrolled in classes 1 to 8, almost 1.7 lakh were yet to get the benefits for uniforms and writing material.
“Out of the total 7,59,517 students of classes I-VIII, payment has actually been disbursed to 5,50,130 students and payment process has been initiated in respect of 41,298 no. of students and actual transfer into their accounts will occur within a week days time,” reads the affidavit filed by the Directorate of Education.
The government said all the students received free textbooks.
According to the document filed during the proceedings of a PIL filed by the NGO Justice for All, out of the 118 schools, “85 have reported that 50-80% students received the benefits,” says the affidavit.
The government said payments were delayed because many students did not have Aadhaar cards, bank accounts or the students had simply not linked the two.
“The main problem is the bank account of many students has not been linked with their the Aadhaar number. Many others simply don’t have Aadhaar. As the benefits are now transferred through an Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer, the process is taking longer,” said Atishi Marlena, advisor to education minister Manish Sisodia.
Soumya Gupta, the director of education, said they had set a deadline of August 31 to ensure bank accounts of all students are linked with Aadhaar. If need be, the DOE would consider giving students the reimbursements in cash. “No child will be denied of the benefits,” she said.
The DoE, said in the affidavit, they received the inspection reports from 10 North Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) schools, 12 south DMC schools, 10 east DMC schools, 10 New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) schools and five schools under the Delhi Cantonment Board.
The document said the North DMC schools had not provided uniforms to their students and two SDMC schools had not given textbooks and writing material.
However, the reports also said all students in the inspected schools were seen carrying books and stationery and wearing uniforms.
While the North DMC spokesperson was unavailable for a comment, SDMC officials said their reports must have been misquoted. “Our schools were found to be 100% compliant, according to inspection reports we submitted to the DoE,” said an SDMC official.
Schools under the DCB had not provided any writing material. The CEO of the DCB said they would soon rectify this.“We are holding a finance committee meeting on Thursday, and we will ensure all students get free notebooks too,” said B Reddy Sankar Babu, the CEO of the DCB.
The Right to Education Act of 2009 mandates that students admitted to private unaided schools under the Economic Weaker Sections of society and Disadvantaged Groups categories, and all students admitted to government-run schools are entitled to books, uniforms, and writing material.
First Published: Aug 24, 2017 12:10 IST