Apex court seeks update on facilities in schools across country

April 29th, 2009 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the government to apprise it about the problems faced by schools across the country in terms of availability of basic amenities like drinking water, toilets, seating facility and classrooms.
A bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Harjeet Singh Bedi sought the update within two months while adjudicating a lawsuit, which has complained of the lack of various basic facilities like drinking water, toilets, chairs, fans, chairs and classrooms in about 1,000 government-run schools in Delhi.

The bench appreciated a marked improved in the Delhi government schools since 2004 when an NGO, Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation, had filed a public interest litigation seeking the court’s intervention in the matter.

It agreed with counsel Ravindra Bana argument that “Delhi alone is not India” and widened the ambit of its scrutiny to all over the country.

Accordingly, the bench assigned the task of updating the court on the facilities at schools all over the country to the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), a deemed university set up by the human resource development ministry for capacity-building and research in planning and management of education.

Bana wanted the court to issues notices to all states seeking their direct involvement in adjudication of the lawsuit, but the court for the time being sought an update from NUEPA.

The court, appreciating the Delhi govenmrnet’s work in improving infrastructure and facilities in schools, asked it to “continue working with the same momentum and zeal”.

The Delhi government, in an affidavit, told the court that it runs 923 government-aided schools, housed in 667 buildings with some of the building running two schools in as many shifts.

The affidavit said the government had sanctioned Rs.98 million for improvement of infrastructure facilities in schools at a rate of Rs.500,000 per school. Out of this sanctioned fund, the government has already released Rs.50 million.

The state government said owing to the migratory population and students coming from bordering states, the Delhi government schools face more and more pressure for admissions. The number of students in such schools have gone up from 962,580 in 2003-04 to 1.07 million in 2007-08.

But the government was trying its level best to cope up with the situation, it said.

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