AAP MLAs visit MCD-run schools in Delhi, live-stream their 'poor condition' to corner BJP

The unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) functions under the BJP-led Centre.

AAP MLAs visit MCD-run schools in Delhi, live-stream their 'poor condition' to corner BJP AAP National Spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj with the students during his visit to the MCD Primary co-ed School, at Krishi Vihar, in New Delhi on September 3 (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: AAP MLAs on Saturday (September 3, 2022) visited some schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and highlighted their "poor condition" to corner the BJP which has been targeting the Arvind Kejriwal government over alleged irregularities in the construction of its schools. The AAP legislators, including its chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, live-streamed their visit to the schools on social media platforms, highlighting the "poor condition" of their buildings, classrooms, toilets and campuses, and slammed the BJP for raising questions on the Delhi government's expenditure on the construction of its schools.

The unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) functions under the BJP-led Centre. Before unification, the BJP ruled the three municipal corporations of Delhi.

"BJP has given such schools and education system to poor children while being in power at the MCD for 17 years. The BJP should apologise for playing with the future of Delhi and the country like this," Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi after AAP MP Sanjay Singh posted some pictures of "unhygienic" toilets and "dirty" premises of an MCD school on the microblogging site.

In the pictures posted by Singh on Twitter, students can be seen sitting on mats in a classroom.

Bharadwaj visited a civic body-run school in the Greater Kailash area and claimed one teacher was teaching students of two different classes in one classroom. "This is the situation here in every classroom because the school has just two teachers and a principal to teach children enrolled in prep to standard 5 classes," he said.

"How can one teacher teach students of two different classes?" the AAP leader asked.

Showing the ceiling of a classroom, Bharadwaj said, "Imagine what would be the condition of children studying here under this tin ceiling during Delhi's scorching summer."

"Children here are not getting the proper facilities that they need. These children also deserve what the children of Delhi government schools are getting. I appeal to the Delhi government to do something for them if MCD is not able to do anything," he said.

AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak visited an MCD-run school in his Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency and said he was not allowed to enter its premises.

"I came to visit this school in Inderpuri but you can see its main gate is locked. I was told that I don't have permission to enter its premises. Some parents have also come here along with me but they are too not being allowed to enter and meet their wards," he said.

Holding a press conference later, Pathak alleged that the principals of some schools had been instructed by "some officials" at the behest of the BJP not to allow any AAP MLAs, any leader of any political party or the media enter the school premises and make videos.

He also ran an audio clip in which a man is heard giving such instructions but refused to identify the person.

"BJP is running away from showing its schools because there is nothing worth showing there. The BJP knows it will be exposed if it allows anyone to visit its schools," he charged.

MCD denies its school infrastructure 'poorer than Delhi govt-run schools'

The civic body, however, hit back, denying its school infrastructure was "poorer than those run by the city government".

In a statement, the MCD said an "intrusion by a group of 30-40 people in their schools were uncalled-for" and the children had to "suffer a rude break to the harmonious rhythm of their learning process".

"A reckless competition to parade video clips of MCD classrooms on Twitter and other social media platforms began to prove that MCD schools have poor infrastructure and have overburdened teachers and overflowing classes. It is hoped that NCPCR, Delhi Commission of Women, DCPCR, etc. Take note of such breach and call for appropriate action against trespassers in schools who put safety and security of children at bay," the civic body said.

"MCD denies that its school infrastructure is poorer than Delhi government-run schools," the civic body said in a statement.

"The corporation does not let any child go back without admission and it believes in every child's right to education," the statement claimed.

It further said: "It was claimed on Twitter that the infrastructure of Delhi government schools is better than MCD schools. MCD completely denies such a claim.

"It also asks those who question the infrastructure of MCD schools to give a thought to whether MCD is getting its funds for infrastructure as provided for in the rules of government business.

"It is a sad commentary that the funds given by the Delhi government to MCD schools have been a "trickle in comparison to a gush of funds for Delhi government schools," the civic body claimed.

"Broadly, the funds allotted by the Delhi government to MCD under infrastructure creation/capital assets/repair and maintenance have been Rs 0 (zero rupee) in 2020-21, Rs 21 cr in 2021-22 and Rs 7.5 crore in 2022-23 for over 1,535 MCD schools," it further claimed.

In comparison, Delhi government schools have been provided "more than Rs 1,500 crore every year for its 1,100 schools", the MCD said.

A little coaxing and Twitter pleas to the Delhi government by those raising the issue may help address the alleged problem to a great extent, it said.

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