The 2022-23 session witnessed enrolment in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools going up by over 17 per cent, with 8,75,000 children studying in classes nursery to V. At the same time, the teacher-student ratio has risen, highlighting the need for recruitment and fixing the number of posts.
Teachers in Delhi’s public primary schools hope that the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in the recent Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections will bring change in MCD schools or at least smoothen the administrative processes.
“As the AAP has come to power, we hope that just like Delhi government schools, the MCD schools will get better infrastructure, more funds,” said Naveen Sangwan, deputy general secretary of the Akhil Dilli Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, a teacher’s body.
As per Sangwan, there are close to 5,000 vacant teaching posts and over 500 vacant head teacher posts in Delhi’s MCD schools.
The infrastructure in many schools leaves a lot to be desired as three students share a desk while some are seated on rugs. Cleanliness remains an issue as only one sweeper is allotted to a school and the buildings are also stated to be in a dilapidated condition.
Improving the quality of education in MCD schools has been on every party’s manifesto in these civic polls. The Aam Aadmi Party has won but earlier it had very aggressively targeted the BJP which ruled the MCD for 15 years, for its failure to improve
the dilapidated condition and the level of education of its schools.
Dysfunctional toilets, filthy premises, miscellaneous infrastructural flaws, uncovered boreholes, exposed live wires and other hazards endangering the children were some of the shortcomings which were highlighted by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) during its surprise visit to four MCD run schools in the city in May this year. The commission stated that the infra deficiencies observed pose a serious threat to the students’
safety and security.
The surprise inspections were conducted at Bhai Mandeep Nagpal Nigam Vidhyalaya, Nigam Pratibha Sah Shiksha Vidhyalaya, Purvi Dilli Nagar Nigam Pratibha Vidhyalaya, and Dakshini Dilli Nagar Nigam Prathmik Sah Bal Balika Vidhyalaya between May 20 and 21.
In Delhi, public schools are divided into two categories — those run by the Delhi government and those run by the MCD. While MCD can run schools only up to class 5, the Delhi government has no such restrictions. All municipal school students have the option to shift to Delhi government schools in class 6.
Recently, a National Achievement Survey (NAS) report highlighted the poor performance of its schools at the class III level.
The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) issued a notice to the MCD, seeking an explanation within two weeks for the alleged poor performance of its primary schools.
The watchdog cited the NAS 2021 report for classes 3 and 5 to
highlight the quality of teaching and learning in municipal schools.
The MCD had refuted the allegations.
The National Achievement Survey was conducted in November 2021 for students in classes III, V and VIII and its findings were released in May this year.
The NAS class III results had painted a dismal picture of teaching and learning in municipal schools. The class III results of MCD schools were below the national average in three subjects — Language, Maths and Environmental Studies, as per the NAS.