NEW DELHI: FAWAD (name changed) was in Class 1 when he first heard that his school will operate from a proper building, not under makeshift classrooms inside an Eidgah at Quresh Nagar in central Delhi.
Now a Class 8 student, Fawad, in between giggles of his friends during recess, is much smarter. He harbours little hope of any perceptible change in the study conditions. “We don't think the school will have a building of its own anytime soon,” asserts one of his friends.
In 1976, the four-storey Qaumi Senior Secondary School at Sadar Bazar was razed to the ground during the Emergency period. The Central Board of Secondary Examination-affiliated school was then shifted to a DDA Colony, but it neither got land nor building.
Things have not changed much even as four decades passed by. Thirteen ‘classrooms’ with tin shed roofs and walls are built in L-shape at the corner of the Eidgah premises. A ceiling fan, a blackboard on a stand and rusted iron benches comprise each ‘classroom’. The principal's office and the teachers' room are adjusted in between.
As a senior secondary boys’ school with around 800 students at present, classes run in two shifts due to space constraint. While Class 6- 8 are held in the morning, the primary classes take place in the evening.
Like Fawad, other students and teachers have adjusted to their makeshift arrangements. However, they admit that it is better to have a building than operating from a temporary place.
The wait seems to be endless. In August, the High Court had directed the Delhi Development Authority to allocate 4,000 square yards of land for a school building and complete all formalities with regards to the land in the next three months. A month-and-a-half has passed already and the school is yet to receive the documents, said a faculty.
School principal Mohabbat Ali is hopeful that a plot will be allotted, probably at a nearby vacated slaughterhouse site, for the school building in the wake of the high court order. He, however, is reluctant to speak further, saying it was a ‘court matter’.