New Delhi: Delhi BJP state President Vijay Goel on Monday criticized the state government's reported move to shut down 2,235 unrecognized public schools in the city saying the step will deprive four and a half lakh children of education. "As a result of closure of 2235 schools, four and a half lakh children will be deprived of education. Before implementing any provision, the government will have to see what alternative arrangement for education of these children has been made by it," said Goel speaking at a dharna organized by the Delhi State Public School Management Association.
Goel said Delhi government wants to close these schools because they do not have 800 meters plots as provided under the law. When the school management threatened to launch a protest, the government started talking about 200 metres in place of 800 metres. Why the provision for 800 metres was made in the first place and why it's been changed to 200 metres overnight? "On one hand the Government talks about right to education and on the other hand it is putting the future of four and a half lakh children in the dark under the provisions of Right to Education Act," said Goel. Goel said if the recognition of any school is cancelled on the basis of size of plots then as a protest a prayer meeting of four and a half lakh children will be organized at Ramlila Maidan.
All unrecognised schools face imminent closure when Right to Education Act comes into force on March 31, 2013, as it threatens to slap a fine of Rs 10,000 per day on all primary schools in the country which fail to get government recognition by March. Most such schools in the national capital failed to get recognition from the municipal authorities as they did not meet the space requirement according to the city's Master Plan. The BJP leader argued the benchmark of recognition of schools should not be the measurement of the plots rather it should be the quality of education. When Delhi administration and MCD both have failed to ensure quality education system, parents across city were forced to make beeline to expensive public schools.