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Municipal Corporation of Delhi must reply to the DCPCR notice by September 19New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has issued a notice to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) over “poor quality” of education in its schools. Anurag Kundu, the DCPCR Chairperson, has confirmed that an inquiry has been ordered into alleged repeated failures of MCD-administered schools to adhere to quality. MCD has been given a deadline of September 19 to respond to the notice.Reacting to the DCPCR notice, MCD said that according to the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021, more than 70 per cent of schools in Delhi are non-MCD institutions – “a fact that seems to have been overlooked by DCPCR”. Nonetheless, it said it will reply to the notice soon.Legislators of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), including the party’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, live-streamed their visit to MCD schools on social media last Saturday, highlighting the “poor condition” of the buildings, classrooms, toilets, and campuses, and slammed BJP for raising questions on the Delhi government’s expenditure on the construction of its schools.The MCD denied that the condition in its schools was “poorer than those run by the AAP government”.The DCPCR notice states: “The responsibility of imparting primary education lies with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Therefore, the findings of the National Achievement Survey 2021 for class 3 is a direct commentary on the quality of teaching and learning in municipal schools. The NAS class 3 results paint a dismal picture of teaching and learning in Municipal Schools, which rank Delhi amongst the lowest-five performing states in India. In fact, the class 3 results of Municipal Corporation of Delhi are below the national average in all three subjects: Language, Maths and Environmental Studies.”Ruling out the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor performance at MCD schools, the notice further says: “Let it be noted that the (reason for) poor performance cannot be pandemic as the score for class 3 in National Achievement Survey 2017 was merely 58 per cent. Therefore, the Commission issues notice to Municipal Corporation of Delhi, seeking explanation for the poor performance. The explanation must be filed within two weeks, not later than 19.09.2022.”In its response to the notice, MCD said: “The learning outcome for class 3 includes all categories of schools in Delhi. It is difficult to fathom as to how MCD schools can be pointed out for the overall performance. According to NAS, more than 70 per cent of the schools in Delhi are non-MCD schools. This fact seems to have been overlooked by DCPCR. The MCD, nonetheless, will respond to the notice of the commission soon.”

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