Government schools run out of books, kids worry over exams

A municipal coporation run primary school in south Delhi has not been able to provide some subject books across classes, despite the 2012-13 academic session beginning in April.

Eleven-year-old Hasmit Ansari, studying in class 4, fears that he will not be able to pass in his examinations to be held next month. “How will we study? I do not have all books” he said.  

The school authorities have distributed books for only two subjects when there are five subjects from classes 1-5.

Hasmit’s parents have complained that the child has been given books for only two out of five required subjects till date.

Hasmit has been studying in a MCD school in Push Vihar, Sector 1, south Delhi since last year. “We admitted him in class 3 last year and there were no issues with the books. This year the entire class has not been given the required books yet,” said boy’s father, Firoz Ansari.

When parents approached the principal, she was not available for two days. “We spoke to the class teacher who told us that since books are given by the government, it will take time,” added Ansari.

When Ansari asked the teacher about how students would prepare for the exams without books, she said that since it had become compulsory for schools to pass all students till class 5, attaining good marks did not matter anymore.

In his complaint letter, Ansari mentioned that his friend’s child, studying in class 5, was asked by the teacher to buy guides for exam preparations.

According to Delhi government rules, the government and civic bodies schools are supposed to provide free books, uniform and stationery to their students.
Another MCD-run school in Ashok Vihar, north-west Delhi, has a similar story as its authorities are also waiting to get books from the government for their students.
Schoolchildren allege that teachers abuse them when they ask for books. “They discourage us by saying that we will not be able to do anything in life so why should we study,” said a class 3 student.

They also complained that teachers do not come for classes regularly and hence they have to sit idle.

Ashok Agarwal, advocate and head of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Committee on implementation of RTE said that books are not being distributed on time as no step has been taken by the government to bring all government and civic bodies schools under a unified body.

“This is a mockery of the Right To Education Act,” he said.
Even schools in Jahangirpuri, Rohini and Narela have not been able to provide required course books.

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