Delhi Assembly polls: Sisodia challenges BJP to present its education model

Manish Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia challenged the BJP on Wednesday to present its education model while claiming that 109 primary schools run by the saffron party-administered civic bodies of the city have been shut in the last nine years.

The Delhi BJP however denied any MCD run school has been shut.

"It's just that a large number of people have migrated from old Delhi and some other areas due to which student attendance became very low forcing merger of schools," Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said.

Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, claimed that enrolment of students in Delhi government schools has increased in the last five years, whereas according to the Central government data on elementary education, it has witnessed a huge drop in schools run by the city's civic bodies.

Claiming that the number of students in Delhi government run schools has increased by 6,000 in the last four year, he told reporters, "As many as 109 BJP-ruled MCD schools were closed in the last nine years. It's a crime."

"The quality of education delivered in civic body-run schools in Delhi is so poor and the lack of grade-level learning so evident that when children pass out of grade five and join a Delhi govt school in grade six, they are unable to read even the books of grade two," Sisodia alleged.

"If you like their (BJP) model of education, then vote for them. I want to ask the BJP, what's your model of education?" he said.

The Delhi deputy chief minister said that according to central government data on elementary education, there is a huge decrease in student enrolments in government schools of BJP ruled-states.

He also challenged the BJP to present their policy decisions and their outcomes in Delhi's civic body-run schools and those in other states ruled by the saffron party.

"This election in Delhi will be fought on the basis of real work. AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and all other leaders are taking the AAP government's report card to the people. Education has been our priority in the five years that we governed Delhi," he said.

"Today, I want to expose the BJP's lack of any model of education whatsoever compared to our clearly visible model of education. I will present the upgrade of infrastructure in the education sector in Delhi and also a comparative data available in the public domain about student enrolment in Delhi government schools under the jurisdiction of MCD and that of a few other BJP and Congress-ruled states."

Twenty-thousand classrooms have been built, Sisodia said while giving an account of the work done in education sector by the AAP government during its term.

The AAP government has invested significantly in infrastructure, ensuring green boards in all classrooms and installing 7.5 lakh modular desks, apart from world-class sports facilities in schools, he said.

"The AAP government has built 25 school buildings and another 30 are under construction. Six Schools of Excellence and five Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas are thriving and transforming the lives of the children of Delhi. We can confidently say that Delhi now has several government schools with better infrastructure than private schools," the Delhi deputy chief minister added.

Comparing his education model with that of BJP and Congress-ruled states, Sisodia claimed the Haryana government shut down 208 schools run by it between 2015-2018 and in the same period the Rajasthan government closed down 4,000 schools.

The Congress-ruled Punjab, which was previously ruled by the BJP-Akali combine is no better with 217 government schools shutting down in the last three years, he claimed.

"In Uttar Pradesh, it's a shocking and heart wrenching state of affairs, where more than 40 per cent of a total 1,13,500 primary schools do not have electricity supply and children are forced to attend classes in these pathetic conditions," Sisodia said.

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