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Delhi HC slams govt’s casual approach to facilities for disabled schoolchildren

The court observed that DoE’s affidavit, submitted last week, was ‘insufficient’ as it did not contain anything about the verification

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
November 19, 2014 1:05:08 am

Pulling up the Directorate of Education (DoE) for its “casual approach” towards implementing court orders to verify facilities for differently-abled children in private unaided schools, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the DoE to “secure services of trained experts who can evaluate facilities in private schools and objectively certify them through experts in the field”. For the same, the DoE has been directed to coordinate with experts from Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) and the Chief Commissioner Persons with Disabilities (CCPD).

The court of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Vipin Sanghi also directed the DoE to specify dates and work out a roster for inspection of schools to verify their claims. The inspection process is to be completed and a report on the verified facilities has to be filed by December 19.

“The directive is to contain inspection to be carried out through experts and each school cannot hamper the inspection process,” the court said.

During the hearing, the court also observed that DoE’s affidavit, submitted last week, was “insufficient” as it did not contain anything about the verification. In the affidavit, the DoE listed schools which had claimed to have facilities to educate children with special needs (CWSN). The affidavit, however, did not contain the details asked by the court.

It noted further that despite its detailed judgment given on the issue in April, the DoE appeared to be “groping in the dark”. “Have you verified the claims made by the schools? Where is the document saying so? There has to be some recording. You can’t take it so casually. This is insufficient,” the court said.

“They are groping in the dark. It is a shame. After our judgment of April, 2014, we are still standing where we were earlier. You people do not seem to have the will. You do not want to exercise your powers for whatever reason it may be,” the bench said.

“Verify in an appropriate manner from schools who have given information as to the exact nature of facilities available with them in terms of infrastructure and personnel: teaching and educational aids, physical infrastructure, special educators who are in a position to impart education to CWSN for that particular disability,” the court said.

The court also directed that none of the schools impede or restrict the inspection process and “in case of resistance, Delhi government shall take necessary and appropriate action as per the Delhi Schools Education Act”.

“Entire process to be completed on urgent basis and affidavit to be filed in four weeks,” the bench said, adding, “We have to see this through.”

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