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Delhi HC pulls up officials over ‘sad state’ of govt schools

The court remarked that the authorities’ “lack of planning” resulted in “apathy” among the children for school and said accountability must be fixed of the officials.

educationNEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the city government’s education department for the “very sad state of affairs” in the government schools in its north-east district and directed that responsibility be fixed on the officials concerned for the lapse.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan took into account a “scathing” report given by lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who visited these schools and found many discrepancies including “broken desks”, “serious shortage of classrooms” as well as non-supply for books and writing material. It remarked that the authorities are not supposed to just make publications in the newspapers but also work on the ground level to address the shortcomings.

The secretary of the education department, who was present in the court and had earlier visited the schools to examine their condition, confirmed the findings in the report and assured that steps would be taken to drastically improve the situation in a time-bound manner.

“You should have known all this. Why do I have to call you? You should be going on ground level on your own. That is your job… Your job is affecting lives of young children. They are in-charge of education,” the bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet P S Arora, said.

“You are not supposed to just publish announcements in newspapers that schools are hunky dory. There are 144 children in one classroom… This is very sad state of affairs,” added the bench.

Agarwal contended that one of the schools in the district was being run from a tin building and two sections were at times being made to sit in a single classroom.

The court remarked that the authorities’ “lack of planning” resulted in “apathy” among the children for school and said accountability must be fixed of the officials. It also questioned how the children were expected to study in a tin building in summer heat.

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