Primary education in Delhi has taken a hit,says CRY survey

Delhi has slipped from sixth to eighth position in primary education over the past year and from seventh to eighth in upper primary education over the same period,a survey has revealed.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 30, 2012 1:01 am

Delhi has slipped from sixth to eighth position in primary education over the past year and from seventh to eighth in upper primary education over the same period,a survey has revealed.

Child Rights and You (CRY),an NGO,conducted the survey to provide an assessment of schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The report collates information from the BJP and Congress manifestos for 2007 elections,MCD budget for 2010-11 and 2011-12,newspaper reports and responses to RTI/RTE applications.

According to the survey,as per the government rankings of states in school education released by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on February 1,2011,Delhi has slipped in both primary and upper primary schooling. The rankings are based on each state’s performance on numerous parameters including teacher availability,teacher-pupil ratio,facilities,student enrollment and retention.

The CRY report also says that though the “MCD has improved the building structure,basic facilities are still lacking in many schools.”The MCD currently runs around 1,730 schools. Their actual expenditure on education was nearly a third less than the budget estimate. The budget estimate for education in 2010-11 was Rs 1,58,030.15 while the actual expenditure was Rs 1,02,733.95,” the survey stated.

On the matter of basic amenities in 44 government schools,the CRY survey reveals that 37 per cent of schools didn’t have clean toilets. Schools in Northwest,Northeast and Outer Delhi were the ones with the least facilities,the survey found. It also shows that 61 per cent of the schools had their toilets cleaned only twice or thrice a month besides having permanent staff for the same. About 24 per cent of school toilets did not have water supply,while 18 per cent had contaminated/dirty water supply,the report said.

The CRY survey also suggests that lack of teaching staff is “clearly one of the biggest problems” faced by the schools —from teachers merging two or more sections to make up for the shortage to teachers being forced to do additional clerical work. Also,“most teachers were not willing to work in slum areas and approached authorities to get transferred out of such schools,” the report said.

The report points out that “according to MCD’s own estimate,there are close to 2,100 children with special needs in its schools. Though the court had ordered for two special educators per school,MCD decided to begin with one teacher per school.”

Education Committee chairman Mahindar Nagpal blamed the Delhi government for the delay in employing two special educators. “The Delhi government has to finalise the recruitment rules. It has to release funds for their salaries. But there is no clarity on the project. Due to procedural delays,we couldn’t start the recruitment process.”

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