“Where is the budget going?” This question was today posed by the Delhi High Court to the Delhi government and the municipal corporations in the national capital, as it termed as “startling” the fact that half of the total teaching posts in government and municipal schools here were lying vacant.
“This 50 per cent vacancy is startling. It is too high a figure. Where is the budget going,” Justice Manmohan asked the AAP government and the corporations after the court was told that 9,000 new teaching posts were being created even though as many as 26,031 vacancies existed.
“It seems you have not recruited anyone for last so many years. The system is crumbling, no? You are working at 50 per cent capacity. There would be a huge pressure on the existing teachers,” the court said and asked the government to start recruitment through the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB).
It issued notice to the Delhi government and the three municipal corporations seeking their replies by December 8 to a contempt plea by NGO Social Jurist alleging “wilful disobedience” of a 2001 court order to ensure ‘zero vacancy’ at the commencement of each academic year in schools here.
Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, appearing for the NGO, told the court that currently there were 26,031 posts of teachers, including special educators for differently-abled children, lying vacant in municipal and Delhi government run schools. He said despite the huge number of vacancies, which came to 50 per cent of the total required strength of teachers, Delhi government recently created 9,000 additional teaching posts.
He claimed that many teaching staff, including Principals, have been deployed for court work on the false assurance that their posts would be converted into that of law officers and added that 80 per cent of government schools had no Principals.
Advocate Ayushi Gupta, appearing for Delhi government and DSSSB, refuted the allegations and said the vacancies of special educators were advertised, but only 89 persons were found eligible as per the prescribed qualifications.