SOCIAL JURIST 478-479, Lawyers Chambers
A Civil Rights Group Western Wing, Tis Hazari Courts
Delhi-54, Phone: 23910014
Hon’ble Prof. Kiran Walia
Minister of Education
Govt. of NCT of Delhi
October 25, 2012
Subject: Dismal state of affairs prevalent in Delhi Govt. Schools
Through this letter, I wish to draw your attention towards the sorry state of affairs in the government-run schools of our city. As these schools are the mainstay of our schooling system where the masses send their children, the quality of these schools is of peculiar concern to all of us.
I have been receiving post-cards and letters from school-students across the city in which they narrate their hardships. One such batch of post-cards has been recently received by me from students and parents of Government Senior Secondary School, Radhey Shyam Park, Delhi-51. In these 44 postcards, students and parents have highlighted a wide range of problems ranging from unhygienic conditions to lack of quality teaching. It is a double shift school with a cumulative strength of several thousand students, but it runs without even the most basic amenities such as drinking water. The gist of these problems is produced below:
PROBLEMS PERTAINING TO HEALTH AND HYGIENE
1. Highly unhygienic conditions prevail generally in the school. Heaps of garbage keep lying here and there. There is not a single garbage-bin in the school. The school in itself looks like a garbage-bin. Stray dogs enter the building and classrooms and excrete in the classrooms. Water-logging is also there. Walls are also very dirty and have not been white-washed for years. Moreover, there are abusive words written on them.
2. Toilets also remain full of filth and pose a health-risk to the students. They are also devoid of water supply. Sometimes, the toilets are locked, forcing children to urinate in the open, which causes additional mess. The stink from the toilet reaches upto the classrooms and spoils the environment. There is no water in the school even for washing hands.
3. Mosquito-breeding is also rampant in the school. One of the school-children has also got infected with Malaria due to mosquitoes.
4. There is no provision of clean drinking water in the school. The drinking water tank is never cleaned and usually dry. There is also garbage-deposition around the water tank. Only two taps give out water occasionally. The water drawn from them tastes bitter. Children often fall ill by consuming that water. Some children bring their own water-bottles but that water cannot last whole day long and also becomes hot in summers.
5. The quality of mid-day meals is also poor.
PROBLEMS REGARDING INFRASTRUCTURE
6. There is shortage of electric provisions in the classrooms. Fans are in broken, damaged and non-functional state. Further, electric supply itself is a rare phenomenon. The problem of electricity leads to reduced attendance in summers.
7. In classrooms, there are either no desks or broken desks. Small students are made to sit on shabby and torn durries.
8. The black-boards have not been polished or painted for years and have turned dull. In the absence of proper lighting, it is very difficult to see what is written on them. Poorly lit classrooms, absence of working fans and proper sitting arrangement makes it particularly difficult for students to write their exams.
9. Window panes are broken which brings chilling air to the classrooms in winters.
10. The roofs of the classrooms are made of tin, from which lizards often enter and fall down upon the students.
11. There is also no greenery in the school.
ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES
12. There is a great shortage of teachers in the school. There is no teacher for Urdu in the school due to which, the students are facing a lot of difficulty.
13. The teachers of the school do not teach properly and do not pay attention towards the children. Very few periods are conducted. Teacher-absenteeism prevails.
14. The Principal of the school pays no attention towards the problems of the school. The school-authorities do not listen to the parents of the children.
15. There is apparently no guard employed in the school. One of the students has complained that on one of the days, an outsider woman entered the school during lunch-time and started beating up the students indiscriminately with a cane. The students could not even take their lunch properly because of the same. The absence of a guard is also apparent from the fact that students enter and leave the school at any time of the day.
16. PT periods are not conducted properly in the school.
17. Teachers make students broom the classrooms.
Since such problems are a common feature in most of the Delhi-Government schools and are crippling the very foundation of our education system, we look up to you in hope that in your tenure, the conditions in this school and other schools run by the Govt. of NCT of Delhi will be ameliorated.
With warm regards
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
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