The Directorate of Education served a showcause notice to the Urdu-medium Jama Masjid Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya this week,directing the school principal Dr Shabana Nazir to furnish reasons to the government body why Urdu textbooks were not made available to the students.
Delhi Education Secretary Rina Ray,who served the notice,said the government had authorised Urdu-medium schools to buy books or make photocopies and issue them to students so they could prepare for the Board examinations this year. In addition,the government gives Rs 300 to each student of classes IX X,XI and XII to buy the books.
Several students of the school said they had no access to textbooks required for preparation. Daniya Alvi,a student of the school,said she had to translate from Hindi to Urdu in several subjects to prepare for her examinations. Newsline had recently carried a report on the students of the school whose studies were affected due to the non-availability of textbooks prescribed in the syllabus.
Students have also complained the government money is not enough to buy all books from the market. We had told the school principals they could buy books under the library fund and issue them to the students, Ray said. Principals need to ensure that every student gets all the books.
The lack of textbooks,teachers and infrastructure have been cited as reasons for the poor results these schools have had in Board examinations over the years.
This year,the NCERT had released the Urdu textbooks in time and other schools had made them available to their students,Ray said. Most of them belong to low-income households and are first-generation learners. Ray said there is a possibility their parents might be using the money for other purposes,which is why she had authorised the schools to buy books under the library fund. We are investigating more such cases; the notice puts other such schools in the radar, Ray said.
Another principal,who heads an Urdu-medium school and did not wish to be named,said it was partly also the governments fault. While the NCERT might have done its duty,it was the Directorates duty to check with schools how many books they needed.
There is no point giving students the money,because then there is no accountability, she said. The Directorate should be more aware and plan better to help these schools.