With the start of new academic year, the government and municipal corporation-run schools in Delhi are full of students. Though the new session started from April 1, a large number of children in these schools will have to wait yet again to get textbooks. The government-run schools in Delhi are supposed to provide books to all students in all classes each year. But last year, books were not available on time and this even led to the parent of one child filing a petition in the Delhi High Court in August last year to get the textbooks. Its the same condition this year with books being in short supply, reported The Indian Express.
While the students in private schools start reading textbooks from day 1, students of Delhi government schools are still waiting even after getting an assurance from the government that they will not suffer because of non-availability of books. Activists point out that the delay in giving books has been a chronic problem in government-run schools. According to Saurabh Sharma, a Right to Education (RTE) campaigner running a Campaign for Change told IE that education is the biggest head in Delhi government’s budget but along with spending money on swimming pools and infrastructure, it should also focus on providing basic things such as books to children on time. The campaigner also complained about the Pragati books given to students. The books were of such poor quality that nothing was visible on the pages and a few pages were even upside down, said Sharma. Another RTE activist and lawyer Khagesh Jha, asked, “Why is the preparation for books not done in advance?” Seeking attention on the issue, he said, teachers and government will blame poor education quality on the attitude of students but they will not see that the basic rights of children are being violated.
WATCH | When Deputy CM Manish Sisodia suspends principal
However, the Delhi government officials have assured that the delay will be minimised and the books will be available at the earliest. According to them, schools in two biggest zones, north and northeast, have got books, and by April 15, all other schools will also get them.