Will bureaucrats’ wards go to govt schools, asks HC

Will children of bureaucrats study in government schools, the Delhi High Court asked on Tuesday as it directed the city administration to improve infrastructure in its own institutions instead of trying to control private schools.

“The problem around admissions is because government schools are not good. You have to improve infrastructure. Why do people in the US want their wards to go to government schools? It is because they are good quality schools. Here, no one wants to go to government schools,” said Justice Manmohan.

To this, the Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said that improvement was there for everyone to see.

“The schools have desks, toilets, water and all facilities available in good schools. We are improving gradually,” said Mr. Mehra.

“If you are saying your public sector schools are very good, would you have bureaucrats’ children studying here?” asked Justice Manmohan.

Encouraging misuse?

“You want to encourage corruption, you want to encourage misuse. How many parents will give the address of relatives as their own, only because they want their child admitted to a school that is not in their neighbourhood,” he added.

The court was hearing the government’s reply to petitions that challenged the State’s January 7 notification, which made it mandatory for all private unaided schools on DDA land to admit 75 per cent students from within a radius of 1 km.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted, “For example, should we not regulate red line buses if we fail to make the DTC fleet world-class? So, how can we say that if government schools are not good, we should not regulate private schools. This is the first time that the government has taken a pro-citizen initiative.”

He went on to say, “There is a perception that students in government schools are not interested in studying and the teachers are not interested in teaching. This will change. Rome was not built in a day. Neighbourhood principle is a step in that direction.”

The court, however, said, “No one is saying you are not taking steps, but do not try to take over private schools.”

The ASG also said that the court should recollect the quality of government schools from 30 years ago.

“Schools like the Central School in Sarojini Nagar were so good three decades ago. It had a swimming pool and girls from there participated in national-level competitions,” said the ASG.

The court agreed to this argument, after which Mr. Jain said, “But, Delhi is not what it used to be 30 years ago. The demography has changed. There is the influence of TV where advertisements show children being pampered. Poor kids, too, want the same. When they do not get it, it leads to crimes.”

Deadline extended

In another development, the deadline for nursery admissions under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category has been extended till February 14. The first list will now be announced on March 7 while the second list will come out on March 31.

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Printable version | Oct 13, 2021 2:18:10 PM |

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