HC seeks Delhi govt’s stand on plea for school buses in Northeast district

 Delhi High Court on Monday sought the city government’s stand on a plea to provide around 360 buses to enable students studying in several state-run schools in the Northeast district to attend schools in other districts.

The plea by NGO Social Jurist is part of its petition alleging some state-run schools in the Northeast district are not imparting “full-time” education as these function either for only two hours a day or on alternate days.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan issued a notice on the plea and granted time to the Delhi government counsel to seek instructions.

The bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna, observed the petitioner is only seeking 367 buses to send children to other schools while the school building in their own district is being constructed.

“Children must go to school Get instructions. Get it done,” the bench told the government lawyer, who said such an arrangement “was necessary”.

Advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for the petitioner, said the teacher-student ratio in schools in the Northeast district is very high at present, affecting education. Therefore, the children must be enabled to attend other schools.

The lawyer said there are as many as 45 to 190 students in each class in schools in the Northeast district against the norm of 40 students.

“The petitioner by the present application is seeking interim directions from this Hon’ble Court against the respondent government to forthwith provide DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses to as many as 31,251 students of 14 schools as mentioned in the proposal of requirement of DTC buses for shifting of students of district North-I to other districts for smooth and regular education of students as per RTE (Right to Education) norms pending construction of new schools buildings in the area as submitted by DDE District North- East-I to the DOE (Directorate of Education),” the plea said.

The PIL said students of some Delhi government schools in the Northeast district, including at Khajuri, Sabhapur, Tukbirpur, Sonia Vihar and Karawal Nagar, etc, are following a pattern of teaching mechanism where schools are either imparting only two hours of daily education or teaching on alternate days.

The matter will be heard next on November 28.

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