On September 8, the Delhi government announced that it has decided to do away with “administrative formalities” for routine matters in its schools and give more autonomy to principals for removing bottlenecks so that basic facilities can be provided to the students at the earliest.
The announcement was made during the “State teachers award function”, where 75 Delhi government school teachers were awarded. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that allocation of a major share of its budget to the education sector was not a challenge but the bigger challenge is its utilisation.
Indentifying the technicalities in the administrative processes as a roadblock for progress in the education sector, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “due to administrative formalities for routine work the files keep on moving from one department to another and students suffer due to delay in the process.”
“Whenever I visit schools and find basic facilities such as water, toilets and lights in bad shape, the principals claim that the file was sent to certain department..which further says it was sent to Finance department.”
He added that, “We are trying to upgrade the infrastructure and ensure basic facilities in all our schools but the technicalities in the administrative processes are contributing to a delay. So we have decided to end these formalities of administrative approvals and give full decision making power to principals.”
Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister said, “a principal told me that there is a certain fund of Rs 5,000 which all the schools get from government but principals have to take approval from the Deputy Director’s officer for encashing that. Now, why do we need an approval for something which has already been approved.”
“This is a wastage of time for the officers too as well as the principals. We want to end all this, the principals will have full autonomy. If someone will be indulging in corruption, action will be taken against them,” he said.
The minister said that the common complaints received from schools are related to security and sanitation issue and government has worked out a proposal in this regard. “The government is preparing a proposal under which it will be mandatory for the agencies providing security and sanitation facilities to any school to get a “satisfaction report” from the principal and teachers, only then would their payment be cleared,” he said. “I meet 8-10 principals every week and discuss the issues being faced by them in functioning of schools. We take suggestions from them and then certain proposals are worked out accordingly,” he added.