Two-thirds of public schools in Delhi don’t teach science in grades 11-12: RTI

The total number of schools under the Government of Delhi is 1,047 including secondary and middle schools

The total number of schools under the Government of Delhi is 1,047 including secondary and middle schools

Only a third of Delhi’s government schools teach science subjects to students in grades 11 and 12, a response to an RTI query has revealed.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had in its 2015 election manifesto for the Delhi Assembly promised to build 500 new schools in the city, only opened 63 new schools between February 2015 and May 2022, according to RTI. .

The Department of Education, Government of Delhi provided the information in response to a request filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on behalf of PTI.

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RTI requested information on the number of Delhi government schools teaching science and business subjects in grades 11 and 12, as well as the number of new schools opened by the government between February 2015 and May 2022 in the city .

While information for 326 schools was obtained through the RTI app, data for the remaining schools was collected from the Department of Education website.

A total of 838 upper secondary schools have data, of which only 279 schools teach science subjects and 674 schools offer business subjects to students in grades 11 and 12.

That is, about 66% of public schools in the city do not teach science subjects while about 19% do not teach business subjects in either grade.

The total number of schools under the Government of Delhi is 1,047 including secondary and middle schools.

According to the response, the condition of schools in the National Capital Central District is the worst, with only four out of 31 senior secondary schools teaching science and 10 schools teaching business subjects.

A public interest litigation was filed in the Delhi High Court in 2017 regarding the non-availability of science and business subjects in Delhi government schools, which said the allocation of science and business subjects had been done in an “uneven way”, which cannot be justified and is unfair to the students of the region.

Barrister Yusuf Naki, who filed the petition, said: “On my petition, the Delhi High Court had given notice to the Delhi government, in response to which the government had filed an affidavit, saying that it would start to teach science and business subjects in about 50 schools. Subsequently, the court ruled on the petition.”

According to Naki, the government then said in its response that science subjects were taught in 291 public schools.

An education department official, who did not wish to be named, said PTI, “To start teaching science subjects in grades 11 and 12, a school needs infrastructure and the interest of children. Students need rooms to sit. Apart from this, there should also be laboratories for subjects like physics, chemistry and biology.

“If the number of students taking science-related subjects is such that at least one section is formed, then schools send the file to the planning directorate, which is approved and other requirements are met,” the manager said.

According to a principal of a public school in Delhi, “Besides the laboratory, rooms and teachers, it is also necessary that if a child is to study science and business subjects in class 11 and then in class 10, he must have obtained at least 55% marks and 50% marks each in science, mathematics and English. Children don’t get enough grades to pass science subjects.

The headmaster, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: ‘Children do not get grades for taking science subjects and are not encouraged to take science subjects.

JV Shanmukha Kumar, professor of chemistry at KL Deemed-to-be University, said that if children did not study science subjects in upper secondary grades, the doors to the fields of medicine and engineering would be closed to them. closed.

“Students will also not be able to pursue careers in the field of technology or the environment, while in the future there will be more jobs in these fields. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage children to pursue scientific studies at upper secondary level,” he said.

Professor Lavanya Sivapurapu from the university said: “Science is essential for research and innovation. There is a great need for engineers and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that India is unprepared to deal with emergency medical situations.

“We need experts in the fields of medicine, paramedics and radiology. To get into these fields, one has to study science subjects in grades 11 and 12,” Ms Sivapurapu said.

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