Saturday, February 8, 2014

Govt okays afternoon shift in city schools

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Indian Express
Govt okays afternoon shift in city schools

Shikha Sharma Posted online: Tue Dec 03 2013, 01:37 hrs
New Delhi : In order to enrol all children in schools, the Directorate of Education has issued a notification that enables unaided and recognised schools in the capital to run afternoon shifts. The move is expected to have far-reaching consequences for the capital’s schools and is being touted by the department as the “only possible solution” for making the most of the current school infrastructure.
The guidelines for the same, framed by Delhi School Education Advisory Board, were passed after a Supreme Court order which said schools should be allowed to run second shifts according to Delhi government guidelines.
According to the notification, only schools run by a governing body, society or management will be allowed to apply for a second shift. Such schools will run as a “new entity and as an independent school maintain separate records and accounts”.
The schools will also have to get fresh recognition and affiliation and will conform to the rules and norms of the Right to Education Act.
But even though the schools will share infrastructure and have common management, the rules make it mandatory for the new schools to have their own sets of teaching and non-teaching staff, including school principals.
The new rules also spell out conditions with respect to children from economically weaker sections. “Any such school shall not entertain shifting/transfer of students, including children belonging to EWS and disadvantaged group category, to shift I (morning shift) or vice-versa,” the notification states. Such schools will also be liable to grant admission to students from EWS or disadvantaged groups according to existing norms.
Besides, the governing body or society of shift I schools cannot charge any rent or developmental charges from the second shift school.
“Any such school shall not have timings overlapping with the morning shift and there should be a gap of at least half an hour between two shifts,” the order adds.
In a press conference earlier this year, Minister of Education Kiran Walia had called double shift schools as the “only possible solution for optimum utilisation of existing resources”.
She had also emphasised on the role of school managements in helping ensure quality of education in the new system.
While the department hopes that double shift schools will help ease pressure on schools and help more students study in private schools, many principals and academicians are of the opinion that the teaching learning process may be severely impacted by such a move.
Last month, Chief Minister Sheila Dikhsit had called running second shifts in schools “necessary” to meet the growing needs of the city’s education system.
“Some schools are for it, some schools are against it, but running double shifts is necessary as there is simply not enough space in Delhi,” she said during Idea Exchange.

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