According to the recent statement of the Delhi Directorate of Education, it is the duty of the private unaided schools to provide the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students with desktops, laptops, smartphones, or high-speed internet facilities for them to avail the online earning facilities. This obligation was submitted before the High Court of Delhi by the Delhi Directorate.
Schools Must Ensure That No Student Is Left Behind
The Directorate submitted a counter affidavit in the court, which highlights the responsibility that each of these schools should take to ensure that no student can be left from not being able to receive online education due to the deficiency of learning materials that are necessary to attend these online classes. The statement also went on to focus on the Right to Education Act, which makes the government duty-bound to release funds and reimbursements for the same.
The Directorate had filed the counter affidavit in response to the petition that demanded that the schools provide laptops, smartphones, and high-speed internet connections to the students belonging to the EWS category studying in private unaided schools and are unable to take the online classes which have been the substitute for the loss of classes during the lockdown period amidst the COVID 19 outbreak.
Notice Issued To The Private Schools In Delhi
On the basis of the petition filed by the NGO, Justice For All and the government through an affidavit, 15 private schools in Delhi have been issued a show-cause notice for not providing free learning accessories like laptops, i-pads, android phones with a high-speed internet connection to the students. “The children belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) or disadvantaged group (DG) category are protected under Article 21A of Constitution for getting an equitable quality education, and the state is duty-bound to remove all financial barriers coming in the way of getting quality education in the same manner as their counterpart fee-paying students are getting in the school,” the NGO has said in its plea. The Education Department in Delhi was sought for a response based on this by the bench of Justices Manmohan & Sanjeev Narula.
The Delhi Court of late has made it clear that the schools and the government must ensure that not even a single student must be deprived of online education due to the deficiency of learning materials. In this regard, the schools have been expected to collect the equipment necessary for facilitating the online education for the EWS students and apply for reimbursement with the central government. A hearing has been scheduled for the same on June 10, 2020.
The petition files state that about 50,000 EWS students are not able to attend the online classes which are the only alternative in the lockdown, due to the lack of facilities needed to avail them, like laptops, phones, or high-speed internet facilities.