By: Ishita Goel
April 24 2023
Primary schools in Delhi are managed by the MCD, run by the BJP for the last 15 years. Only in December 2022 did AAP take over the civic body.
On March 4, 2023, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that his government would start improving the quality of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools, reported Hindustan Times. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded to this announcement saying that the problems at the MCD schools were due to funds being reduced by the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
Against this backdrop, a video of Atishi, the education minister of Delhi, inspecting a school in Delhi has gone viral on social media. In the viral video, Atishi can be seen reprimanding the school authorities for the dilapidated condition of the school. Union minister of law and justice Kiren Rijiju shared a shorter clip of this video on April 15, captioning it: "Kejriwal Ji said Sisodia was the best Education Minister in India & Delhi's School models are World class! I'm told, the new Education Minister of Delhi Atishi has publicly exposed both Kejriwal and Sisodia !!" The video is also viral on Koo with the claim that Atishi had 'accidentally' exposed the state of schools under the Delhi government.
We found a longer broadcast version of the video on the Aam Aadmi Party's Twitter channel, posted on April 10, 2023, with a caption in Hindi. The tweet said that education minister Atishiand Delhi mayor Shelly Oberoi conducted a surprise inspection of an MCD school in North Delhi’s district Wazirabad, exposing the result of 15 years of BJP rule. Atishi—who took over the reins after Manish Sisodia’s arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation— also shared the video on her Twitter account on April 11. She posted in Hindi: "This pathetic school of MCD is the legacy of BJP's 15 years of power." She added that the AAP government in MCD would now bring about Arvind Kejriwal's revolution in education in these schools.
In the video posted by AAP, we noted that at 0:01 seconds, the school's board is visible, which reads "MCPS WAZIRABAD VILLAGE-II, DELHI-84" with the school ID:1253404. The video posted by Atishi has a geotag on the top right corner reading "MCD Primary School, Wazirabad Village-II." On checking the Primary School section of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation's website, we found the school listed, i.e., Wazirabad Village-II, with the school ID: 1253404.
The primary school falls under the ambit of the MCD, which has responsibilities distinct from that of the Delhi government. According to the website of the education department of the Government of Delhi, pre-primary and primary education is mainly the responsibility of the local bodies such as the MCD. Middle, secondary, and senior secondary education is primarily looked after by the directorate of education, Government of Delhi.
On December 7, 2022, AAP won the MCD Delhi elections and took control of the civic body for the first time. In March 2023, Shelly Oberoi was elected the mayor of the MCD. Before this, the BJP had led the MCD for the past 15 years. Therefore, the school in question fell under the BJP's responsibility for the last 15 years, not the Delhi government's, as opposed to claims made on social media. The Aam Aadmi Party has been in charge of the MCD for less than six months after winning the local polls for the first time.
The school inspected by Atishi is an MCD school, which has been managed by the BJP for 15 years until December 2022, when AAP won the municipal elections. The claims made on social media that the Kejriwal government is responsible for the school's lack of maintenance are misleading as the Aam Aadmi Party has not been in power at the municipal level for even six months.