A week into the academic session, students in most government schools in the city are still waiting for their summer uniform, which the administration provides them free. Of the 108 schools, only 20 have distributed the uniform so far while in the other schools, students will have to wait until next month, or maybe even September.
Officials said that around 50 schools have placed orders and would get the uniform soon, while 35 schools have floated tenders for a fourth time, having failed to find a bidder so far. Since the suppliers take 45 to 60 days to make deliveries after getting the order, students will get the uniform not before next month.
UT education secretary Sarvjeet Singh, said, “The sanction was issued to all schools at the same time and around Rs 4 crore was approved for the uniforms. By now, all schools should have got the uniform made. If they have not, we will have a review in a day or so and will expedite the process.”
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Principals blame the delay on low interest from manufacturers and the rates fixed by the Education Department. Principal of Government High School, Sector 34, Vinod Kumar Sharma said, “Despite the fact that we have floated tenders thrice already, not a single bidder has applied. The closing of our third tender was on June 12. Now we have floated another tender with the hope of getting a supplier by July 15”.
Another school head said, “We have five or six manufacturers in the city who are already busy stitching uniforms for other schools. Once they are done with all those tenders, then they will take up the new ones, which is why the process of procuring uniform is getting delayed.”
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35; Government High Schools in Sector 24, 41, 19; Government Model Schools in Sectors 18, 20B, 27, 37, 25, 22, 31, and Mauli Colony are among the schools which have floated the tenders for the fourth time.
Ramnik Kaur, Principal of the Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 20, said, “I feel that the cost of uniform fixed by the Education Department offers very little profit margin to manufacturers. On the other hand, the number of students isn’t large. Thus, no bidder has applied yet. They go to schools which have a higher student population”.
District Education Officer Ram Kumar said that if the schools were not able to find a supplier, they were free to change the terms and conditions of the tender as per their convenience.
The uniform consists of a half-sleeve shirt and a pair of trousers for boys and a half-sleeve shirt and a skirt, or salwar-kameez, for girls. The uniform for classes I to V costs Rs 300 while the uniform for classes VI to VIII costs Rs 375.