Govt’s apathy and state of affairs of Urdu in Delhi

By Saiyed Danish,,

New Delhi: While Mushairas and Ghazals has become part of syncretic Indian culture and even the government seems to be promoting it, Urdu teaching suffers from government’s apathy. Through various RTI applications filed by many noted activists in Delhi the picture of the sorry state of Urdu affairs is shockingly becoming clear now. A total of 64 vacancies are reserved for Urdu teachers in 59 government schools. But only 11 posts are being held now.

If we leave the schools of Navyug School Educational Society, there are 8 senior secondary schools, 6 secondary schools, 6 middle schools and 21 primary schools of NDMC and 18 nursery schools. Even in other parts of Delhi for eg. North Delhi Municipal corporation and in South West Delhi the situation of Urdu is pathetic as there is not even such reservation for Urdu teachers.

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TCN tries to find out the ground reality on the eve of the Delhi Assembly elections campaign for which every political party from Congress to BJP, AAP, SP, BSP et al have tried every trick of the town in proving oneself as the true representatives of the syncretic tradition of Urdu.

“In Urdu schools there are 10-20 vacancies in each school mostly or both PGT and TGT Mathematics, English, Science, Social Science teachers. Anglo Arabic School alone has 12 vacancies for the last 8 years. SVB Pataudi House has no principal since July 2005 and the vice principal has to manage. In Hakeem Ajmal Memorial School, Darya Ganj, Delhi, last year only 2 of the 24 who appeared, cleared. Rest all failed in Mathematics. That’s why the result is merely 8 per cent. Without Mathematics, the result is 78 per cent as there is no mathematics teacher,” says Firoz Bakht Ahmad who is better known as a heritage activist and has recently started his innings in politics by joining the firebrand Aam Aadmi Party.

According to the reports of RTIs filed by Dr. Qasim Rasool of Welfare Party of India, there is a total of 5096 vacancies for English medium teachers out of which only 3438 seats are filled. This way there is a whopping 32% vacancy. Similarly only 3376 seats out of 4606 are filled in Hindi medium, 2463 out of 4179 vacancies are filled in Sanskrit medium which maintains vacancies at 41%. However when it comes to Urdu even the designated seats are no match against the above mentioned languages.

There are only 262 seats allotted for Urdu studies out of which only 70 seats are filled. Thus the highest percentage even in the lowest number of allotted seats in any subject is of Urdu which stands at 73%.

Speaking to TCN earlier, Dr SQR Ilyas had expressed his surprise that while the government passes the right to education bill to made it compulsory, so many seats are vacant in Delhi alone. He also demanded that all vacant posts, including those for the Urdu language should be filled immediately.

Non-availability of Urdu medium text books is also a big hindrance in the growth of Urdu. Strikingly this year, 74 books out of a total of 80 books are not in the market.

For instance if we look at this year’s XIIth standard results of Hakim Ajmal Khan Girls School, the picture turns grimmer. According to this year’s class 12 Urdu School girl topper from Hakim ajmal Khan Girls’ School, Delhi, Ashiya Begum {77%} and last year (2006) Urdu medium girl toppers, Fauzia Parveen with 80 per cent marks and with 78.6 marks, they prepared for the boards without the Urdu medium Economics, Political Science and History texts.

Similarly Jameel-ur-Rehman, vice principal, SBV Pataudi House, states, “While English and Hindi medium text books reach market, the Urdu books are given for translation. This process itself takes months and years and by the time translation is complete, book is published, the news is that the book is changed.”

Firoz Bakht father points out at how government’s insincerity in coughing out funds and making resources available contributes to the logjam.

“In fact the government aided Urdu medium schools lag behind in comparison to the government Urdu medium schools when it comes to filling of the vacancies by a provision known as “guest teachers” where vacancies are filled in by the retired school teachers in the government schools.

The government pays them in terms of 80 rupees per period with the condition that for the TGTs, the monthly amount should not cross 8000 rupees and for PGTs it should not go beyond 10,000 rupees. But the aided schools are not accorded this facility. The Education Department should make this amendment for the aided Urdu medium schools. Another amendment should be that not only retired teachers should be recruited but even unemployed and enthusiastic young teachers too can be kept,” he suggests.

He also lashes out at the namesake management committees which are at the helm of running affairs related to Urdu language.

“Most of the Urdu school managing committees are defunct or hardly devoted to uplift the level of education. A seething example of this attitude is Delhi’s Qaumi School that has been pitched into the city’s Eidgah since June 30, 1976, the day it was razed to the ground during the Emergency on the pretext that it was in the slum area under the Master Plan and that very soon, a building would be given to it. The management hasn’t tried at all despite some big names of industrialists like Siraj Qureshi adorning the school’s rolls some time ago,” he adds.


73% of Urdu teachers' posts vacant in Delhi

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