Updated: November 7, 2021 10:19:20 am
On hold for two years, the Delhi education department’s plan to convert more of its schools from double-shift to single-shift is being revisited and reviewed after increased enrolment in government schools over the last year.
In November 2019, the education department had identified 92 school buildings as suitable for conversion into single-shift schools after new classrooms were constructed in them. These buildings had been identified after mapping capacities of all government schools and were estimated to have 40 or fewer students per classroom after construction of new classrooms.
There are currently 1,053 schools run by the Delhi government. Of these, apart from Schools of Excellence and RPVVS, approximately 168 are single shift co-educational schools. Of the rest, most operate as double-shift schools – the morning shift functions as girls’ schools and the afternoon shift as boys’ schools.
In November 2019, the plan had been to transition these 92 buildings into single-shift schools by July 2020. However, like many other plans, this was put on hold due to the pandemic and lockdown in March 2020. However, with the return of children of all grades to schools this week, this plan is being revisited.
According to a senior education department official, the increase in total enrollment since the start of the pandemic has prompted the government to review the feasibility of converting the identified schools into single-shift ones.
“The plan at that time had been to begin their functioning as single-shift schools with the start of the new academic session but two things happened then. First, schools could not open in that academic session. Second, we have had increased enrolment — it has increased by 2.5 lakh since 2019-2020. In light of this, we have to see if the conversion will still be possible in those schools. It varies from area to area, and new rooms have been built, so it is also possible it might not make much of a difference in some schools,” the official said.
The Director of Education has directed all District Deputy Directors of Education to explore the possibility of converting double-shift schools to single shift “keeping in view the increased enrolment in government schools” and “make the school-wise plan to shift students in coordination with School Management Committee and parents so that the quality of education may be improved”.
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