High Court Seeks Delhi Government Stand On Plea Alleging State-Run Schools Not Imparting Full-Time Education
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued a notice to the Delhi government on public interest litigation by NGO Social Jurist.
Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the city government’s stand on a plea alleging that some state-run schools in the city's northeast were not imparting “full-time” education. A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued a notice to the Delhi government on public interest litigation by Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Social Jurist. The NGO argued that the fundamental right to education, guaranteed under the Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, was being violated under these circumstances.
Delhi government counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi said in the aftermath of COVID-19, “everyone has rushed to government schools” and the government was conscious of the infrastructure and other issues in the area, which has "higher density". “The government is conscious of the infrastructure and the availability of land in those areas. After Covid, everyone has rushed to government schools,” he said. Appearing for the petitioner, lawyer Ashok Agarwal said the situation had been ongoing since April 2022 and there was no action from the government to remedy it. “Some of the schools are holding two hours of class, some are calling children on alternate days. I have written to them repeatedly but (there has been) no response, no action,” he said.
“The PIL (is) highlighting the fact that students studying in some of the respondent Government of NCT of Delhi run schools in North East District area namely, schools at Khajuri, Sabhapur, Tukbirpur, Sonia Vihar, Karawal Nagar, etc., are following pattern of teaching mechanism (where) either (schools are) imparting only two hrs of daily education or teaching on alternate days thereby affecting education of more than one lakh students,” said the plea filed through lawyers Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh. The plea added, “Hundreds of students and parents of above-stated schools have orally requested to Advocate Ashok Agarwal on 05.09.2022. Apart from that Advocate Ashok Agarwal on 13.09.2022 has received as many as 19 complaints from students studying in SKV Khajuri, SBV Khajuri, GGSSS Sonia Vihar, GBSSS Sonia Vihar, GGSSS Khajuri, GBSSS Karawal Nagar and GGSSS Sabhapur. It is submitted that students of SKV Khajuri, SBV Khajuri, GGSSS Sonia Vihar and GBSSS Sonia Vihar have complained that they are given only two hours of classes every day whereas students of GGSSS Khajuri, GBSSS Karawal Nagar and GGSSS Sabhapur have complained that they are ask to come to school only on alternate days.”
The petitioner submitted that, on average, 5,000-6,000 students are enrolled in each of these schools and it was a “really alarming situation” where the marginalised students were not getting full attention from the Delhi government in the matter of their education. It further said that, under the law, it was the duty of government schools to impart education to students for a minimum of 200 working days and 800 instructional hours for Classes 1 to 5 and 220 working days and 1,000 instructional hours for classes 6 to 8 in an academic year. “(Such) action on the part of respondent of NCT of Delhi would discourage students to continue their studies. The actions/inactions are otherwise also bad in law,” the plea argued and prayed for the high court to direct the Delhi government to provide full-time education in these schools. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for December 7.
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