Expressing concern over the “alarming” state of affairs in government-aided schools in the city, the Delhi High Court, on Wednesday, pulled up the Directorate of Education (DoE) for “miserably failing” in its “duty to monitor” the schools.
The court of Justice Hima Kohli took note of the submission made by the DoE on Wednesday that there has been a sharp fall in the number of teachers employed in the schools in the last four years, even though student strength had increased.
According to the DoE affidavit, the number of students had gone up to over 1.6 lakh in 2014 from 1.5 lakh in 2009-10 in the 211 government-aided schools. The total number of teachers actually employed in the schools, however, was a mere 4,770, even though a total of 8,882 teaching posts had been approved by DoE.
The department, in an earlier affidavit, had admitted that fixing teachers’ posts in these schools had not been done after 2010. However, the DoE also said it had been implemented in 2011-12 and in 2013-14 “based on the online enrollment” of students.
“As per Section 25 of RTE Act, the pupil-teacher ratio for primary classes is 40 and for classes VI-VIII, it is 35. Accordingly, the pupil-teacher ratio in aided schools is 34-52 which is in line with the RTE Act,” the affidavit says.
The affidavit was submitted after a writ petition was filed by a retired teacher, who was denied re-employment by an aided school after the state changed the retirement age of teachers from 60 to 62 in 2007.
Advocate R K Saini, counsel for the petitioner also said that the issue of huge number of vacancies for teachers was just the “the tip of the iceberg”. “Many more problems are there. The DoE does not monitor anything. What kind of education and teaching are the children getting?” Saini said.
The court converted the petition into a PIL and has sent the matter to the Chief Justice.