The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the city government and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on a plea challenging the board’s amended rule that teachers will not be tasked with accompanying students in school buses and not be allotted non-academic work.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought response from the CBSE and Delhi’s Directorate of Education (DoE) by November 6.
The plea filed by NGO Angika Development Society through advocate Arjun Harkauli challenged the CBSE’s October 2016 circular and sought its quashing.
The CBSE, the country’s biggest school board, had asked private schools affiliated to it to ensure that their teachers are not saddled with non-teaching duties such as travelling with children in buses and managing canteens.
Harkauli argued that pursuant to the Supreme Court directives, the Delhi government had already formulated detailed directives that “teachers and bus monitors should accompany students in school buses and hence it is not the domain of the CBSE to issue any directives on this subject as it merely an examination board”.
The plea said that the administration of school and terms of service of teachers does not fall within the domain of the CBSE but under the authority of the Administrator under the Delhi School Education Act.
“Similarly in the respective state the relevant state school education Act applies. The impugned circular suffers from the vice of ‘excessive legislation’ beyond the scope of its authority,” the plea added.
“In any event, even the government resolution that created the CBSE does not grant it powers to frame rules regarding administrative running of school, service conditions of teachers and safety of children.”
It added that teachers are the qualified persons to travel in buses for the safety of the students as children have inherent confidence and trust in teachers.
“Parents feel confident when there is teacher in charge of a school bus, who can handle child psychology and well equipped to deal with emergencies and capable of effectively communicating with parents, school, local authorities, bus staff in case of an emergency,” the plea stated.