Delhi government has deputed 176 teaching staff for court work instead of teaching students, especially when there is a massive shortage of teachers in schools run by it and municipal corporations, Delhi High Court was told on Thursday.
The allegation was made in an application filed by the NGO before Justice Manmohan who issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its response before the next date of hearing on 8 December.
The application was filed in NGO Social Jurist’s contempt petition alleging “wilful disobedience” of a 2001 court order to ensure ‘zero vacancy’ at the commencement of each academic year in the city schools.
In its contempt plea, the NGO had contended that there were 26,031 posts of teachers, including special educators for differently-abled children, lying vacant in municipal and Delhi government run schools.
It has said that despite the huge number of vacancies, which came to almost half of the total required strength of teachers, Delhi government had recently created 9,000 additional teaching posts.
Through its application, the NGO has sought to bring on record additional issues which include vacant Principal posts in 80 per cent Delhi government schools, apart from 7463 posts of post-graduate teachers and 13623 posts of trained graduate teachers.
“Due to non-recruitment of teachers, the education of as many as 15,40,691 students studying in 1011 schools is badly affected,” the NGO has alleged in its application filed through advocate Ashok Aggarwal.
Despite so much shortage of teachers, as many as 176 teaching staff have been deployed for court work for the last several years and have not at all attended their teaching duties, Aggarwal claimed in the court.
In response, Delhi government submitted that it was compiling all the data and would file a reply by the next date of hearing.
On 17 October when the contempt petition was taken up for hearing, the court had asked the government and the municipal corporations where the budget for recruitment of teachers was going if there still was 50 per cent vacancy in teaching positions in the schools run by them.
The court had also termed the huge number of vacancy of 26,031 posts as “startling”.
The NGO in its contempt plea has sought action against the AAP government and the municipal corporations for not complying with the 2001 high court order, contending that the huge number of vacancies in teaching posts severely affected the teacher-student ratio.
It has claimed that the vacancies have resulted in “depriving 25,05,691 students studying in 1977 schools of their fundamental right to receive quality education”.
In 2001, on the NGO’s plea against the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board, Delhi government and the municipal corporation, the high court had set a schedule for appointment of teachers to ensure that all posts are filled by the beginning of July every year.
In 2010, on a contempt petition by the NGO, the court had said the recruitment process was slow but appointment of teachers was taking place. It had said if the state did not recruit teachers, the court can be approached again.
The NGO has now moved the contempt petition, saying the state and its agencies were “actually sitting over” the recruitment process.
(With inputs from PTI)