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L-G asks Chief Secretary to probe ‘anomaly’ in education sector

Decrease in student enrolment despite increase in education budget

August 30, 2022 01:10 am | Updated 09:50 am IST - New Delhi:

Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena

Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Monday wrote to Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar asking him to probe the reason behind the “decline in student enrolment” and “significant absenteeism” in State government schools despite an increase in the education sector budget.

In a statement issued on Monday, the L-G mentioned that the Delhi government’s Economic Survey (2021-22) showed a decline in student enrolment — between 55-61% of students attended State government-run schools from 2017 to 2022 — despite the budget for education sector being increased from ₹6,145.03 crore in 2014-15 to ₹11,081.09 crore in 2019-20.

Mr. Saxena asked the Chief Secretary to probe this “anomaly”.

This development comes three days after the L-G directed Mr. Kumar to prepare a report over a two-year delay by the Delhi government’s Vigilance Department in taking action on a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report that highlighted “gross irregularities and procedural lapses” worth crores in the construction of additional classrooms in government schools.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the floor of the Assembly, on Monday, said the BJP leaders had received “an order from the top brass” to raise questions on the education sector.

He added, “They had a problem with the fact that we increased the number of toilets. If our girl students need more washrooms and we gave them the same, what wrong have we done? Wherever you have governments, the schools are in abysmal condition.”

The Delhi CM also said, “Now they have stopped talking about the fake liquor scam but they will still make the arrest because it has become a prestige issue for them.”

The BJP’s national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia, citing the CVC report, said the government increased the construction cost by ₹326 crore — a 53% increase in comparison to the original tender amount — without floating a new tender.

“As per the increased cost, as many as 6,133 classrooms were supposed to be constructed whereas only 4,027 classrooms were built. There is a need for 160 toilets in schools but the Kejriwal government said 1,214 toilets are needed. It means if there is any expert on corruption in this country, it is Arvind Kejriwal,” said Mr. Bhatia.

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