A day after Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia, citing a union ministry report, said that municipal schools under the BJP-ruled civic bodies have a poor pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), the three corporations — north, south and east — shared data on the number of students enrolled in their schools and the teachers engaged, to contend that their PTR is in accordance with the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Implying that the discrepancy in numbers was the result of leaving out contractual staff in the data, they said that all civic bodies have such teachers, and that the recruitment process for regular teachers was underway.
On Sunday, Sisodia, citing the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report for 2019-20, said only 50% municipal schools operated within the RTE mandated PTR of between 30:1 and 35:1 in the primary and upper primary levels respectively.
The minister further said that 98% of the Delhi government schools have maintained the RTE mandated PTR, while 58% of East MCD schools, 46% of North MCD schools and 39% of South MCD schools are not following it.
The data shared by the civic bodies suggested that their PTR was close to the mandated requirement in the RTE Act.
According to data shared by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), schools under it have 4,764 teachers for 159,550 students enrolled across its 357 schools. “The overall PTR at present is 34:1, which is fine,” contended a senior EDMC official, who asked not to be named.
EDMC mayor Shyam Sundar Agrawal said, “The number of students enrolled has been on the rise over the past two years.”
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which shared data till November 2020, said its PTR is 42:1, “only slightly behind the RTE mandate”. The south civic body has 6,044 teachers for 254,303 students enrolled across its 581 schools.
SDMC mayor Mukesh Suryan said that at present around 75%- 80% of the enrolled students are attending online classes while some have returned to their home states. “Besides, the recruitment process of over 750 regular teachers is in process,” said Suryan.
North MCD has 7,700 teachers for around 240,000 students enrolled across its 780 schools. “Our student teacher ratio at present is 31:1… The civic body is in the process of hiring around 350 regular teachers this year,” claimed a North corporation official.
Delhi government spokespersons did not comment.