Segregation of Hindu and Muslim students in a North Delhi Municipal Corporation primary boys school in Wazirabad ended on Thursday, as the civic body’s education department dissolved the religion-based sections.
“In our preliminary investigation conducted on Wednesday, we had found that the teacher in-charge (of the school) had been re-organising the sections along these lines starting from August. On Thursday, these newly formed sections were dissolved, and the sections which existed prior to July 28 were restored,” said a senior official in the education department.
The Indian Express had reported on Wednesday that the section-wise break-up of students showed segregation along religious lines. Preliminary investigation pinned responsibility for this on C B Singh Sehrawat, who was made in-charge of the school following the transfer of the principal on July 2. Singh has been suspended.
The official said the investigation against Sehrawat has been handed over to the corporation’s vigilance department, which will submit a detailed report. He added that a new principal would be joining either on Friday or in the coming week.
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According to the official, while reshuffling in itself might not have been unwarranted, for it to be conducted in this manner was unacceptable. “Following a drive by the corporation to increase the number of students, in June and July, the North MCD took in over 30,000 students in its primary schools. Given that each section should have about 40 students, reshuffling might have been necessary… However, the manner in which it took place in this school was shocking,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the councillor from Timarpur and local resident associations held a protest outside the school on Thursday afternoon. “Sterner action than a suspension needs to be taken. The teacher’s tenure needs to be terminated and an FIR lodged against him. Also, the MCD cannot make this one person a scapegoat… The entire MCD establishment is (responsible)… and responsibility for this needs to be identified. Also, this is not a matter pertaining to just one school. An inspection must be conducted in all schools in Delhi to find out if such things are happening,” said Kaptan Singh Sangwan, husband of councillor Amar Lata Sangwan.
Mehnaz, whose two children study in the school, said, “The level of teaching in the school is so poor… they are too busy separating students instead of actually helping them learn. They are trying to put differences in their hearts… when they should be focusing on providing facilities.”