The North and South Delhi Municipal Corporations, which had initially allowed the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to conduct a survey in their schools to assess quality of education and infrastructure, have now pulled out of the exercise, saying the “intent behind the survey is to show Corporation schools in a bad light”. The East corporation has not raised any objections to the survey being conducted by the commission, which falls under the AAP-led Delhi government.
The political wing of the North and South Corporations said they raised objections as the survey is being done with a “political motive” by the Delhi government.
Sources, however, claimed the civic bodies “fear that the survey might lay threadbare the deficiencies such as lack of desks and benches; money not being provided for schemes and uniforms; and absenteeism among teachers”. By the time the order to stop survey was given, however, it had already been in around half of the schools under the South civic body, and over 15 schools in North.
The DCPCR is also conducting the survey in government and private schools across the capital.
Mayor of the South civic body, Narendar Chawla, said the corporation has stopped the survey as they were collecting data such as phone numbers of children and parents and other private details.
“They need to take specific permission from us as well as our assistance in conducting the survey,” he said.
Sources, however, said officials were taken into confidence from the planning stage, and data is being collected so the government can form policies accordingly.
The North civic body has 714 schools, where more than 3.5 lakh students are enrolled. There are 581 schools in South civic body where 2.7 lakh students study, while the East has 378 schools with 1.72 lakh students.
Chairman of the education committee of North civic body said the survey was being done with an agenda to show corporation schools in a bad light. She claimed she had received complaints from teachers that surveyors misbehaved with them.
“Officials are asking our students questions like do they disturb teachers when they talk on the phone… these are a way to trick small children,” she said. “We don’t mind questions for betterment of schools, but when it is done for political gain, it is not fair.”
DCPCR member Anurag Kundu said the survey is being conducted across schools, and the DCPCR is a statutory body which has jurisdiction over all schools with no political interest. “The framework of the survey was decided after taking consultation of senior officials of all three corporations,” Kundu said. On reports of misbehaviour by surveyors, he said they are employees of Quality Council of India, a Government of India body, and not of the Commission.
The survey started earlier this month and by Thursday, nearly 630 schools will be evaluated, he said.