North MCD Schools Without Desks, Benches; Who is to Blame ?

In almost 100 MCD schools in north zone devoid of tables and chairs, children are forced to sit on the floor.

3 min read
Class 2 children made to sit on floor at an MCD school in Jahangirpuri.

As you enter a North Delhi Municipal Corporation primary school in C Block, Jahangirpuri, all you see are low lit classrooms devoid of furniture. Children sit on mats on the floor, while the teacher has a chair.

Neeta Singh, a parent whose children study in the school, said, “children lean against the wall for support as it gets really difficult to sit in the same posture.” Most of the children are seen leaning on the walls for support. “As winters are approaching, I fear these kids may fall ill sitting on the floor,” added Singh.

This is one school out of the 100 schools in which over 38,000 children are forced to sit on the floor. The North body has 765 schools, where more than 2 lakh students are enrolled under its jurisdiction.

A Municipal Corporation of Delhi school teacher, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “A requirement list followed by several letters have been sent, but as of now we haven’t received any tables and chairs. Even the stationary money which has to be distributed amongst the children in the beginning of the session (April), has only been approved in December.”

The Quint visited several other schools in the area and found that many of these schools lacked the basic infrastructure like tables and chairs. In some of these schools even the teacher did not have a desk but were lucky enough to have a plastic chair.

While some of the principals and teachers identified it as a serious problem, others said that they did not feel it was a major problem.

An MCD school in Jahangirpuri
An MCD school in Jahangirpuri
(Photo: Aparna Deb)

What do the authorities say?

This issue was raised by Congress councilor Poonam Ashwini Bagri during corporation’s house meeting. Area councilor Bagri stressing on the need for better infrastructure said that she has been pursuing this issue for a while now but no action has been taken in this regard.

A senior NDMC official told The Quint that the requirement for tables and chairs is pending since 2012-13. The process of procuring these has only started last year.
“As you know there is a shortfall in the north zone, you know it. We have identified the problem and request to fulfill this requirement is in pipeline. The fund approval process takes time but we are working towards it.”
Preety Agarwal, Mayor, North MCD

Who is Responsible?

The MCD Act of 1957 says, the establishment, maintenance of, and aid to, schools for primary education subject to such grants as may be determined by the Central Government from time to time;

The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957  
The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957  
(Source: Delhi Government)

Now, the question is, who is responsible for overseeing these MCD schools?
If the MCD is unable to fulfil its basic duties, then who are they answerable to?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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