New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticised V.K. Saxena in the state Assembly over his alleged 'interference in the government's functioning', asking 'Who is L-G' and 'where did he come from', the Lt Governor in a letter asked the CM to refer to the Constitution for the answer.
'It has come to my notice through media reports that you have made many statements in and out of the State Assembly over the past few days, which have been severaly and substantively misleading, untrue and derogatory. As to 'who is LG' and 'where did he come from', etc. can be answered, if you were to even cursorily refer to the Constitution of India, others do not deserve a reply, since they obviously cater to a very low level of discourse,' the letter read.
The Delhi LG also reacted to the CM's allegation that he refused to meet him while protesting outside the Raj Niwas over the issues of sending teachers to Finland for training. 'I came to know through media reports that on Monday, you left the Assembly and were protesting with others outside Raj Niwas, demanding to meet me. Thereafter, I invited you and the Dy. Chief Minister to come and see me. I would have, indeed, loved to have you over and served you lunch as well. However, you chose not to come on the pretext of wanting to meet me with all of your MLAs. You would appreciate that, given the short notice and sudden demand on your part, it would not have been possible to at once have a meeting with 70-80 people, nor would have it served any concrete purpose. Unfortunately, you went ahead to make a convenient political posture that, athe LG refused to meet me', said LG in the letter.
Criticising him for staging a protest instead of finding a solution to the issues, the L-G said, 'I must mention here that I was rather astounded at the fact that even as the city is grappling with several serious developmental issues, you found time to walk for long and stage a protest meant solely for posturing, rather than taking the issue to a logical conclusion by meeting me'.
'As a resident of Delhi for the past 07 years and its Lt. Governor for the past about 07 months, I deem it proper to bring to your attention certain issues pertaining to the above mentioned sectors in the National Capital, so as to help you comprehend the issues at hand in totality and deal with them in a real and comprehensive manner. In doing so, I am not acting as a 'Head Master', as you have been sarcastically referring to me, but as a benign yet conscientious voice of the people that derives its sanctity from the ethical and moral moorings of the Constitution of India', hit back Saxena on the CM's remark of 'behaving like a class teacher'.
Underlining indices about the govt schools effectiveness, LG said, 'It is a matter of concern, that even in the National Capital, average attendance in government schools, which was 70.73 per cent in 2012-2013, consistently fell year on year, reaching 60.65 per cent in 2019-2020. Despite concerted efforts and a rebound factor, owing to the blanket closure of the schools due to the COVID pandemic between March 2020- June 2022, the numbers went up to only 73.74 per cent. It will be educative to note here that attendance in 2009-2010, was clocked at 78.06 per cent. This clearly indicates that our government schools are not being able to ensure attendance of students effectively'.
The letter further read, 'You would recall that in our recent meeting, I had flagged to you the issue of no new schools having been built during the last 08 years in Delhi, despite the DDA allotting 13 plots to the Education Department, GNCTD, since as long as 2015, for the same. In this regard, right after taking over, I personally ensured that 06 plots were allotted in August 2022, for building schools by GNCTD. Adding classrooms in existing schools and counting toilets as classrooms, do not, by any stretch of imagination, amount to opening new schools, as you would appreciate'.
'Despite, claims of unprecedented improvement in government education system in Delhi, as per National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021, the performance of about 30 per cent students in Delhi Government Schools till Class VIII is below basic levels and for about 44 per cent students. Similarly, performance of about 33 per cent students studying in Class X is below basic and for about 30 per cent, it is barely basic. There is rampant Math and Science phobia among students of Delhi Government Schools and this results in the fact that only 21,340 out of 2,31,448 students studying in Class XII, are in the Science stream', reads the letter.
The Delhi LG said that contrary to claims, the number of students going to private schools has increased in Delhi. While the share of private schools in 2013-2014, was 35 per cent, the same went up to 43 per cent in 2019-2020, and despite migration from private schools to government schools due to the pandemic distress, this number yet hovers around 40 per cent.
Talking about teachers sending to Finland, Delhi LG has said, 'I would also like to dwell upon the issue of sending 52 Primary In-charges, 03 Teacher Educators from SCERT, 01 Vice Principal, 02 Deputy Directors of Education, Director (SCERT) and Secretary (Education) to Finland in two batches of 05 days each'.
'Irrespective of whether a 05 day trip to Finland, will serve any purpose of substantive training to the visitors or would serve as an event to be played up in the media, I did not reject the proposal thereof. I raised a few queries with respect to the impact assessment and cost benefit analysis of such visits which have been going on for past few years, and asked the department, whether such training could be obtained in a more cost effective manner in our own Institutions of Excellence, like the IIMsa, reads the letter.
'I reiterate, that I write to you, not only as the Lt. Governor of Delhi, but also as a concerned resident of the city. You are indeed a driven person, and I am sure that you will take cognizance of the facts stated above and take remedial measures to engage meaningfully and constructively to rectify the grave shortcomings, for better outcomes', the Lt Governor added.