Using government schools for electoral gains has come under the scanner again, with a parents’ association raising objections to the use of School Management Committee (SMC) funds for government publicity.
However, the Directorate of Education (DoE) said there is a provision in their guidelines to request use of the fund for any other purpose related to education, with the SMC’s approval.
The Delhi Parents Association has written to the MHRD, Election Commission and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, complaining against the “misuse of SMC funds for party promotion and election campaign”.
It pointed to the January 28 event, wherein the Delhi government had conducted a mega event at a Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya to inaugurate the construction of 11,000 new classrooms across 200 government schools. CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had also made open appeals for votes for the Lok Sabha polls.
The DoE, in a January 24 circular, had directed heads of government schools to meet the expenditure of flex posters which publicised the event and highlighted the achievements of AAP. It had instructed all schools to install between 5 to 15 8’x3’ framed flexes in “prominent places/locations” of the school.
“The expenditure on printing and installation of flexes may be done from SMC fund by completing all codal formalities,” it said.
Director of Education Sanjay Goel said: “First, this was not a question of the AAP, but of the Delhi government. Secondly, there is a provision in our guidelines to request the use of the fund for any other purpose related to education, with the approval of the SMC. The event was the inauguration of classrooms, which is education-related and to help students. We did not receive any complaint from any SMC.”
SMC funds are autonomous financial resources for schools, half of which are meant for “minor maintenance” and the other half for “SMC-related initiatives.”