HC praises govt schools, educational infrastructure

Times of India | 2 weeks ago | 22-06-2022 | 08:19 am

HC praises govt schools, educational infrastructure

Ahmedabad: Amid continual attacks from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership on the quality of education and educational infrastructure in Gujarat, the state government gets something to fall back upon. The Gujarat high court on Tuesday praised state’s government schools, their infrastructure and the government’s prompt response to addressing the problems. The court even placed government schools at a par with private schools.The HC put an end to litigation initiated suo motu over a collapsed school building at Vagalwada village in Chhota Udepur district, where students were made to sit at a residential premises for their studies. This was after the government constructed a new school building and the court termed it a “beautiful and wonderful” building. However, there was no respite for education minister Jitu Vagani, with the court refusing to deal with its earlier remarks about the minister’s “rash and shameful comment” as the court had noted, about the incident in December last.Besides ordering the government to erect a school building in Vagalwada, the court sought a report on school buildings across the state. Upon receiving the report, the bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri said, “This court is not only satisfied with steps taken by the state but also places on record its appreciation of immediate steps being taken on such deficiencies being pointed out.”The court also said that the state government put in “strenuous efforts” to improve education and educational infrastructure. Accepting the government’s claims about the status of government schools and education, the judges said, “We do not see any good ground why this statement should not be accepted particularly in the background of statistics, which disclose the steps taken by state authorities which are not only satisfactory, but which is also almost on par with any other private school. We say so as our findings also get support from government data.” On perusal of details supplied by the government, the court recorded that there are 32,319 government schools with 47,07,846 students. At all schools, facilities such as toilets and drinking water are in place. The amicus curiae highlighted the dilapidated condition of classrooms by placing a news report and a report of their visit to Pratappura primary school in Mahisagar district, where 154 students are sitting at a residential premises because the classrooms are to be pulled down for last four years. The court asked for the government’s reply and appreciated the quick response to address the problem. The court said the surveillance system for quality of education, teaching activities and infrastructural facilities through Vidhya Samiksha Kendra and under Samagra Siksha Abhiyan can take care of these issues.As many as 6,443 schools are without playgrounds, and seven do not have running water. The court said the government should try to make playgrounds available to these schools. The government claimed that water is provided through tankers at those seven schools.

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