NEW DELHI: The Delhi Wakf Board has decided to set up 16 English medium primary and middle schools for underprivileged children. It has already started the process of hiring 160 teachers and 40 other auxiliary staff. While four of the proposed schools will come up in Okhla, Seelampur, Babarpur, Matia Mahal and Ballimaran will get two each and Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin and Gandhi Nagar will get one each.
According to Himal Akhtar, member of the board, 50 per cent seats will be reserved for minority community’s underprivileged students and the aim is to set aside 25 per cent for Dalit students. The remaining 25 per cent will be for general category students.“Modelled on Delhi Public School, these English medium schools are exclusively for underprivileged children, where they will get free education, course material and uniform. Our objective is to produce well-educated citizens for the country. I feel education is the only solution to every problem plaguing the community,” Akhtar said.
Though the Board has set its sights on setting up 250 schools in the city, the objective, for now, is to open 16 schools, Akhtar, practising lawyer, said. While Akhtar is hopeful that the schools will be up and running this year, Board officials said they will only start functioning from the next session.
The schools will be managed by a separate wing of the education department, which will be headed by a deputy director-level officer. The board conducted interviews for various posts, including teachers and other support staff last month. They will be hired on a contractual basis.
The final list of selected candidates will be released after completion of the requisite process of hiring, tendering and finalisation of premises for running the schools, Akhtar said. He added that expression of interest for providing buildings on rent for schools was sought and the response was encouraging.
“People, in significant numbers, came forward. Tendering formalities for the same will be done soon. It is a long process that needs to be followed. We will also invite bids for furniture, books, and uniforms,” the DWB member said.
However, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, an educationist and Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), said the board could not be trusted till something is visible on the ground.“The community has lost a large chunk of land and properties due to the Board’s callousness and now it wants to run English medium schools. They should, instead, focus on recovering properties being encroached upon,” Ahmed said.