Delhi Government’s takeover of Modern International School, Dwarka is facing unwarranted delays due to the obstructionist actions of Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor. The Delhi Government has sought the takeover of the school for ‘miserably failing’ at complying with Right to Education (RTE) Act and Delhi School Education Act & Rules (DSEAR) provisions. The Modern International School had breached RTE Act and DSEAR provisions by not admitting EWS students, not providing free uniform-stationary to beneficiary students, wrongly terminated teachers, and made fake/dummy registrations in Class XI. The Delhi Government had decided to take over the school in December 2022, and had sent the proposal for LG’s approval. Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and the then Deputy CM Shri Manish Sisodia, had pointed out that the subject of education is not under LG’s purview, and he can only forward it to the President or approve it. However, the LG sat on the file till January 2023, and obstructed the takeover of the school by illegally placing his observations, without his jurisdiction on matters of Education.
After examining LG’s observations, the CM forwarded a fresh proposal for LG’s nod in February. However, the LG again sat on the file till April 2023, and again obstructed the takeover of the school by placing illegal observations, without his jurisdiction. Education Minister Ms Atishi had submitted another proposal after LG’s observations, again calling for the takeover of the school. Expressing his disappointment, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal has now sent the proposal to the LG again, highlighting the delays on his part. He has noted that the Delhi Government has taken a final decision to take over the school, and the matter is being placed before Lieutenant Governor to record his views under Rule 47 A of the Transaction of Business of the GNCTD (Amendment) Rules, 2021, whether he wishes to differ from the government and refer the matter to the President. It is more than four and a half months now, and the education of several children is being hampered. Therefore, it is humbly requested that Lieutenant Governor may record his final views whether he would like to refer this matter to the President, added CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal.
In December 2022, the Delhi Government had decided to take over the school and sent a proposal to the Lieutenant Governor for approval. The decision was taken after the school was sent several show-cause notices for violating continuously the provisions of Right to Education Act, 2009 and Delhi School Education Act & Rules, 1973 & guidelines and order issued from time to time and defying willfully, the direction issued by the DOE. The school has been defying the provisions of 12 (1) (C) of RTE Act, 2009 in EWS/DG admissions by not admitting at least 25% of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighborhood and provide free and compulsory elementary education till its completion. The school was also issued show-cause notices for defying the Rule 8 of DRTE Rules, 2011 by not providing free text books, uniforms and writing material to the candidates admitted under the provision of 12 (1) (C) of RTE Act 2009, as well as a complaint against the school for Termination of 4-5 teachers by not following and adopting due procedure as laid down in DSEAR, 1973, and making Fake/Dummy Admissions in Class XI.
After examining all the facts and the replies submitted by the administration of Modern International School, Dwarka, the government concluded that it is — apparent that the reply submitted by the school is not appropriate and no proper justification or documents or clarification regarding breach of terms & conditions of recognition & directions of the DoE were submitted. “It is evident that the School Management has failed miserably to run the school as per DSEAR, 1973 and as per directions of DoE issued from time to time. The school is liable to be taken over by the Administrator i.e Lt. Governor, Delhi,” the government further observed. The school administration also failed to get any relief from the court in the matter.
However, the LG has been sitting on the file, delaying the takeover process. CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal and the then Deputy CM Shri Manish Sisodia had earlier noted that the subject of education is not under LG’s purview, and he may forward it to the President or approve it. However, the LG has been illegally placing his observations without jurisdiction on matters of Education, obstructing the takeover process. The LG sat on the file till January 2023, and obstructed the takeover of the school by illegally placing his observations, without his jurisdiction on matters of Education. He resent the proposal to the department with frivolous notings, for the department to assess.
After reassessing the matter, the then Deputy CM Shri Manish Sisodia had again called for the takeover of the school. The CM had forwarded the file for LG’s nod in February 2023 after examining his observations and the fresh proposal. However, the LG once again sat on the file till April 2023, and again obstructed the takeover of the school by placing illegal observations on the file.
In April, the present Education Minister, Ms Atishi, had submitted another proposal after the LG’s observations, again calling for the takeover of the school. In a bid to expedite the process, the CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal forwarded the proposal to the LG again and noted that the government has taken a final decision. He also requested the LG to record his final views under Rule 47 A of the Transaction of Business of the GNCTD (Amendment) Rules, 2021, whether he wishes to differ from the government and refer the matter to the Hon’ble President.
Education of several children is being hampered, and it has been over four and a half months since the matter was first sent to the LG, the CM had noted while forwarding the proposal. The Delhi Government had also appealed to the Lieutenant Governor to take swift action and provide necessary approval for the takeover of the school, which is in the best interest of the students.
This is not the first instance of the Delhi LG acting as a roadblock in matters pertaining to education. The state had earlier witnessed a prolonged stand-off between the elected government and the LG over foreign training for government school teachers.
Since October last year, the Delhi LG has been halting the planned training of government school teachers by not responding to the proposal. The SCERT sent a detailed proposal to the Lieutenant Governor seeking his approval for training of Primary in charge of DoE and Teacher Educators of SCERT/DIET to Finland. The Lieutenant Governor responded after more than 3 weeks giving extraneous and unnecessary comments in response to the proposal solely to cause delay. Even then, the SCERT promptly replied to each of the apprehensions in a detail. Thereafter, the Lieutenant Governor sought further clarifications and returned the file to the Chief Minister on 09.01.2023 seeking a cost benefit analysis of such schemes.
Even though the proposal was first submitted to the LG on 25.10.2022, it was only approved — subject to several amendments and conditions — 5 months later i.e. on 4th March 2023, when it had become infructuous. On January 16, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal had led ministers, MLAs, and workers of AAP to the LG’s residence, demanding immediate approval of the government’s proposal to send 30 teachers to Finland for training. However, while granting the approval, the LG had stated that such teachers trained in said program shall only become trainers in India and that in future, there was no need for such training programs to be conducted abroad, instead, they should be conducted within India.
The elected Government of Delhi had to then file petition in the Supreme Court due to the unwarranted and deliberate delay caused by the Lieutenant Governor in approving the proposal to send primary in-charge teachers of government schools in Delhi for teacher’s training to Finland in the months of December 2022 and March 2023.