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Concerned over depleting strength of teachers by almost 50 per cent in government-aided schools in the national capital, the Delhi High Court today pulled up the Directorate of Education (DoE) for “completely failing” in its duty as a custodian of child education.

“This is very sad and sorry state of affairs where DoE, who is custodian of child education, has completely failed in its duty,” a bench of Justice Hima Kohli said.

Observing that government-aided schools cater to educational requirements of a large strata of the society, the court converted the writ petition into a PIL and directed the matter to be listed before an appropriate division bench on October 30.

The remarks came while perusing an affidavit filed by DoE, according to which there were 211 government-aided schools functioning under DoE and 1,64,706 students enrolled in these schools.

It further submits that against the total number of 8,882 vacancies in 2009-10, there was a total strength of only 4,770 teachers as on date.

“As per section 25 of RTE act, the pupil-teacher ratio for primary section is 40 and for class VI to VIII, the same is 35. Accordingly, the pupil-teacher ratio in DoE in respect of aided school is 34.52 which is in the line of the RTE Act, 2009,” the affidavit said.

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