Sunday, December 23, 2012

Double Shift a Disastrous Step

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Hon’ble Smt. Sheila Dikshit
Chief Minister of Delhi
Secretariat, I.P. Estate
New Delhi-110002

Sub:  Permitting Double Shift for Private Schools a Disastrous Step 

My dear Chief Minister

Undoubtedly, the Department of Education, Government of NCTD is controlled by the private schools lobby which is quite apparent from the constitution of Delhi School Education Advisory Board which is totally dominated by the private schools representatives. What has flowed from such an Advisory Board is not a surprise to us.

As reported in the news-papers of 20/12/12, the Delhi School Education Advisory Board headed by Delhi Education Minister Prof. Kiran Walia in its meeting of 19/12/12 has decided to permit unaided private schools to run a second shift after regular school hours. We strongly condemn this decision as we are of the view that the same is opposed to the interest of the children and is also contrary to the provisions, letter and spirit of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

It is submitted that the Advisory Board has completely overlooked the Report of the NCERT Committee on Development of a Policy Framework for Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 in Schools in NCT of Delhi (March 03, 2010) which amongst others recommended that “All double Shift schools would need to be forthwith converted to single shift schools, with the teacher pupil ratio as specified in the Schedule”. (Copy of the Report is enclosed)

The reasons in support of the aforementioned recommendation are mentioned in Clause 1.1 of the Report which is reproduced as under:-

“The committee noted that the right of the child to a ‘formal’ (recognized) school is clearly stated in the Act in Section 3 and the ‘full time’ nature of such school becomes more than apparent when this Section is read with the Schedule to the Act, which at serial No. 4 specifies 45 working hours for each teacher per week; which for a six day week works out to 7.5 hours per day.”

When double shift school system is not good even for government schools, we fail to understand as to how it would be good for private schools.  An argument was raised during the Advisory Board meeting on 19/12/12 that girl students would not be safe in 2nd shift of the school. Counter argument came that as happened in the government schools, private schools would also run morning shift for girls and after-noon shift for boys. The members of the Advisory Board have totally forgotten the fact that the boy students studying in the after-noon shift of the government schools are the most neglected lot as literally no education at all is taking place. The members have also forgotten that the question of safety and security is equally important for both boy and girl students. Needless to say, such a step would also adversely affect the students’ right to play.

The aforesaid issue had also come for consideration earlier by the Delhi Education Department during the tenure of Shri P. Krishnamurthy, the Director of Education. The Director, taking into consideration the recommendations of the above NCERT Committee had expressed its disagreement with the private schools’ request to allow them to run double-shift schools.  It is submitted that there is no valid and just reason which requires the Department to take a different view now.

We humbly submit that permitting these unaided private schools to run double shift schools would be disastrous. There is an urgent need even for the government to convert its double shift schools into single shift schools for the benefit of the students.

We hope and expect that in the interest of quality education to the students, you would consider the matter seriously.

With regards

Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA

Inderjeet Singh Gambhir
National General Secretary, AIPA
M: 09810133325

                                                                                   Report of the Committee 

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