Five months into the current academic year, students in 714 schools under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation are yet to get textbooks, it is learnt. This, coupled with several children not being to attend online classes as their parents don’t have smartphones, is impacting their education.
The 3.5 lakh students at North MCD schools, in classes I-V, largely come from poor families.
Director of the press and information department, North MCD, Ira Singal said though the process to purchase books was done in March, it was later informed that the price of books had increased and the budget had to be approved again. The file, meanwhile, remained stuck amid the lockdown. “We have initiated the process now and students will get the books soon,” she said.
Leader of opposition in the North MCD, Aam Aadmi Party’s Vikas Goel, claimed the agenda has not been passed in the standing committee nor has a work order been issued: “At this rate, it will take two-three months before students get their books.”
Singhal, however, said the file has been sent for anticipatory approval: “The minute we get the approval, we will start pickup and delivery.”
The South and East MCDs, meanwhile, have procured and either finished the distribution of books or are in the process of doing so.
A senior official of the South Municipal Corporation said the books were purchased by the schools in March-April and were distributed as and when students and teachers came to collect them. “However, many parents have left the city or did not collect due to the lockdown. But the process has begun again,” said the official.
East MCD spokesperson Arun Kumar said books have been procured and distributed through parents or children who came to the schools when the lockdown was lifted.
The EDMC has 365 schools with around 1.75 lakh children while the South body has 581 schools with around 2.5 lakh children.