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Discord in Wakf Board delays project to open schools for the poor

The Board has set its sights on setting up 250 schools in the city.

Published: 22nd October 2019 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2019 11:45 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A difference of opinion in the Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) has delayed its ambitious project of setting up English-medium primary and middle schools for underprivileged children. Officials privy to the development said that due to adverse views about the scheme expressed by a few members of the board, it was moving cautiously and making efforts to leave no scope for any “legal hassle.”

“A group is apparently against the scheme and has been continuously raising the issue of procedural lapses. Hence the Board is taking every step with utmost care. Moreover, the board has to account for every single penny, which is public money, being used for opening the schools. So, tenders are being invited for everything, be it procurement of furniture, course books or the contract for whitewashing of private properties to be used for the purpose,” said an official.

The Board has set its sights on setting up 250 schools in the city. The target for now is to open 16 schools. 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.

The schools will be managed by a separate wing of the Board that will be headed by a deputy director-level officer. The Board in July conducted interviews for various posts, including teachers and other support staff. The staff will be hired on a contractual basis.

The  list of selected candidates is yet to be finalised.“For everything, first a resolution is passed and then it is confirmed by the Board. Then a tender is issued to avoid any possible dispute and legal hassle. This is a time-consuming process and is causing the delay,” said an official.The Board had planned to start 16 schools in the current academic session.

Himal Akhar, a member of the Board, however, said that the project was “very much” on track, and after completing all due process, the schools would start operating in the next academic session. “We are sure the schools will be up and running next year. The buildings to set up the schools have also been finalised and tendering for their whitewashing is under way,” he said.

As per the proposal, 50 per cent of the seats will be reserved for the minority community’s underprivileged students, and the aim is to set aside 25 per cent seats for Dalit students.The remaining 25 per cent will be for general category students.

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