Minority Body, Locals Oppose Move to Transform East Delhi’s Urdu-Medium School into English

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MC Primary School (Urdu) Sri Ram Colony, East Delhi.

Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — Local residents of the Sri Ram Colony district in East Delhi has opposed East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC)’s decision to transform an Urdu medium school into an English medium one.

Residents of the Khajuri area of Sri Ram Colony, which has around 90% Muslim population, has also met with the Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and has submitted applications to various government bodies as well. These include Delhi Minority Commission, Education Commissioner, Additional Education Commissioner, Director of Education, EDMC mayor and Education chairman to oppose EDMC’s move.

They have also submitted the signatures of 1000 people who are against the transformation of the medium from Urdu to English. Acting on the complaint filed by them, the commission has now ordered the department of education, EDMC, “not to change the medium of instruction of the said school and to start the upcoming school year as an Urdu-medium school only”.

“An Urdu-medium school was approved and built after a decade-long struggle in Sri Ram Colony, Ward No.64E, Shahdara North Zone of EDMC. The building is now ready, sporting a board saying “EDMC Primary School Urdu”. But somehow EDMC now wants to change the medium of instruction of this school to English while a vast majority of the people in the area want and have struggled for an Urdu-medium school all this while. One thousand people of the area have also approached the DMC for help,” said the Commission while issuing an order not to change the medium of education.

Taking a very serious view on this, Delhi Minorities Commission has termed this approach as “illegal and whimsical” and said that “it was taken without consulting the people of the area”.

Local resident Jamaluddin, who has been actively opposing the transformation, said that they will never allow the medium to be changed to English.

“90% of the people who live here are Muslims. The school has been built for the sole purpose of imparting Urdu education, which is rapidly on the decline. The infrastructure has been developed for an Urdu-medium school but some people in the EDMC want to transform it into an English medium one. We have been approaching governmental bodies to oppose the decision and met Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi regarding this,” said Jamaluddin, while talking to Caravan Daily.

He said that it has been 3 years since the infrastructure for the school has been completed but they haven’t started teaching there yet. When pressure is being mounted to start teaching, they want to turn it into an English-medium school.  He further added that they would rally for a dharna and will not allow it to become an English medium school in any case.

Social activist Manzar Ali Khan, who has been raising this issue, said that there is no Urdu medium school in that area. There was only one school in which Urdu was being taught as a subject, where 5000 students spoke in Urdu. Given the situation, they demanded an Urdu-medium school and the infrastructure was developed for this purpose.

“Their mentality is sickening and they are just anti-Urdu in every possible way,” said Manzar in conclusion.

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