Four months after the new academic session in municipal schools of the city started in April this year, around two lakh children studying in 388 schools under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation attended classes without notebooks because of a stuck up tendering process.
The municipal corporations are required to provide children with notebooks and writing material. Article 8 (1) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, mandates requisite authority to provide children with books, stationery and uniforms.
“Textbooks are printed by the government and given to us. What will our children learn if they do not have notebooks to write in? Why can’t the corporation provide notebooks for five subjects taught in the school?” asked a parent, whose son studies at a municipal school in Laxmi Nagar.
“There were some issues with the tender due to which the entire process had to be started again. We wanted to ensure that due process was followed. The notebooks will be made available to the students within 15 days,” said Jitender Choudhary, Chairman of East Delhi’s Standing Committee.
Two parents have approached the Delhi High Court against the East Delhi Corporation. “They are supposed to provide writing material, but they do not even provide notebooks. This has become a regular problem. So the parents had to move the court,” said Khagesh Jha, Member of Social Jurists, an NGO working in the field of education.
Interestingly, students enrolled in schools under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation had to face a similar situation earlier this year till some parents approached the Delhi High Court. The members of the All India Parents Association (AIPA) have also written to the East Delhi Municipal Commissioner and Delhi Chief Secretary about the matter.