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All Delhi schools declared `no plastic zones'

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, MARCH 3. The Delhi Cabinet today gave its approval to declaration of all Delhi schools as "no plastic zones'' and asked the State Education Department to study the feasibility of outsourcing security and sanitation services in government schools. It also called for a thorough implementation of the free check-up scheme for school children and keeping a close watch on the dropout rate, particularly that of the girl child.

The Cabinet also carried out an in-depth review of the functioning of the Education and Tourism Departments headed by Arvinder Singh Lovely who made an exhaustive presentation on the occasion. Expressing satisfaction with the new exercise, the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, said the overall presentation by Mr. Lovely was comprehensive and to the mark.

"The Council of Ministers got an opportunity to provide inputs and suggestions on various issues and overall the rating was good. I am happy with the manner in which the whole thing went off today,'' she remarked.

Elaborating further on the issue of declaring Delhi schools as no plastic zones, Ms. Dikshit said the Education Department had been asked to formulate a strategy in this connection and the action plan would be prepared. All the private and government schools would be asked to take initiatives to bar entry of plastic bags or plastic related material in their schools to promote safe environment. ``Like we banned the mobile phones in schools, the same criteria would be applied to plastics and details in this regard are being worked out,'' she said.

Mr. Lovely informed the Cabinet that during the last one year the Education Department had worked towards consolidating the gains achieved during the previous years and signing of new projects for the welfare of students and to upgrade the standard of education in government schools. Apart from opening of three new Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas and 22 Sarvodaya Vidayalas during this period, the ratio of one teacher to 40 students was achieved after a long time. Textbooks were written and published in Urdu for the first time and nearly 8,000 students belonging to the weaker sections of the society were admitted to public schools under the 20 per cent quota regime for the first time. Taking further the initiative to bring government school children at par with those of public schools, the department had introduced computer education in 698 schools and further expansion was in the pipeline. Referring to the delays in execution of important works of Education Department, the Chief Minister instructed the PWD to put up a policy paper within a month thereby it could be ensured that one time approval of generic designs for public utility government projects like schools, hospitals, fire stations are obtained from Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Urban Arts Commission and the need for individual clearances was done away with.

The Cabinet also decided that in future before a new school is planned and set up, all required infrastructure including availability of teachers should be ensured first. It also cleared construction of 750 porta cabin classrooms by the end of this month. It was also decided to carry out a thorough monitoring of the health scheme for students that includes free routines check up of students. The Cabinet also decided to come out with a tourism policy in light of India becoming a major tourist destination and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

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