Reply to PIL on reduced hours in govt schools: HC to Delhi govt
Parents of students studying in several government schools in northeast Delhi have alleged that classes are taking place on alternate days or for a reduced duration because the inadequate infrastructure cannot support the current student strength. The Delhi high court on Thursday also sought a response from the Delhi government after it received a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) outlining irregular classes in these schools.
Anshu Singh, whose daughter studies in Class 8 at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sonia Vihar, said that classes were taking place only for three hours for the past two weeks. “Classes take place from 9.30am to 12.30pm for students of Class 8. For classes 6 and 7, they take place in another slot. This has been happening since the beginning of the month since the student strength is high,” said Singh.
The Department of Education and Delhi government did not respond to queries.
Singh said that while the class duration was lesser than usual, teachers were trying to incorporate as many subjects as they could. “We have spoken to school teachers who have said that the situation will improve and classes will be normalized soon. Right now, there are too many children due to which there are space constraints within the classroom. Until last year, the school was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but after the resumption of schools, many children from private schools have transferred here, due to which student strength has increased,” said Singh.
Her daughter Mahi said that classes were taking place in MWF (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) or TTS (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) format. “Certain subjects take place on MWF, while others take place on TTS,” she added.
Another Class 8 student from the school, who did not wish to be named, said that all subjects were not being taught every day. “Earlier, classes used to take place for six hours. Now, our class takes place for three hours. Some subjects are taught three days a week, others are taught on the remaining days of the week. There are many students in one section due to which classes are divided,” said the student.
Tara, a local resident whose son studies in Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Sonia Vihar, which operates in the same school building, said that there were not sufficient schools in the region.
“This is the only government school in the area due to which a large number of students end up taking admission here. My son is in Class 6 but I plan to change his school next year since students study in shifts here,” said Tara, who goes by her first name.
Students studying in Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Tukhmirpur, also raised similar concerns. They said that classes were taking place on alternate days for students in classes 6 to 8. “We are required to visit the school three days of the week. This has been happening for the past month. We have been told that the number of students is high so all of us cannot be in the classroom at the same time,” said a Class 7 student, who did not wish to be named.
Another student in Class 12 of the same school said that the number of students here had increased post the summer vacation due to which classes were taking place on alternate days. “Classes are taking place as usual for senior students like me. However, regular classes are not taking place for junior classes such as 6 to 8. The number of students is very high, due to which there isn’t sufficient space to accommodate them all. We often see classes taking place on the grounds since space inside classrooms is not sufficient,” said the student, who did not wish to be named.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal, one of the petitioners who lodged the PIL, said that he did so to ensure that regular classes are initiated in the two schools among many others in northeast Delhi. “Besides the irregularity of classes, there are other concerns that need to be tackled. We need to lay remedial measures. The lack of teachers and full-fledged principals needs to be addressed too,” said Aggarwal.