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For 5 months, 4 lakh students in 746 MCD schools stranded without notebooks

Each child is entitled to five subject notebooks and a drawing copy free of charge under RTE Act

For the last five months, four lakh students studying in 746 primary schools run by the North Municipal Corporation have been forced to go to school without any notebooks. The corporation has cited delay in getting the requisite budget as the reason for not being able to provide notebooks to students.

According to the Right to Education Act, the corporation is entitled to provide each child studying in its primary schools five subject notebooks and a drawing copy, free of cost, at the commencement of the academic session on April 1. With half the session already gone, students are yet to receive the notebooks.

As a result of the delay, nine-year-old Tina, studying in Class III at a corporation-run school in Jahangirpuri, goes to school with a bag that is almost empty, barring a single notebook. “Whatever is taught in class, I write in this. My entire class is doing the same. No one has got their notebooks. Some children have brought notebooks for every subject, but my parents can’t afford it. So I manage like this,” she said. She added that the teachers also understand the situation and do not scold them.

Officials from the North civic body say they are in the know of the situation, but are helpless to do anything on account of not receiving the money budgeted for notebooks. “The session began in April, but the budget was delayed.

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We did not receive any money, so we could not pay the contractor. We are hoping to get the budget soon,” said Ramesh Bansiwal, Chairman, Education Committee, North corporation.

Under the RTE act, it is the responsibility of the state to implement the provisions of the act – this includes providing free books, notebooks and uniforms to all students. The High Court, in its order, had also directed the government and schools to ensure students get free books and uniforms.

First published on: 01-09-2015 at 01:01:31 am
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