While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is up in the arms with its top leaders taking to streets to agitate against the objections made by the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) to a teacher-training tour to Finland proposed by the Delhi government, officials in the L-G House said the said file “did not have expenditure details" or the average cost of the trip — a claim, which the party said the L-G has “no authority to make". Delhi chief minister and party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal condemned L-G Vinai K Saxena’s decision in a fiery speech in the Assembly on the second day of the session on Tuesday while its MLAs tabled a motion and passed a resolution against the rejection of the tour. According to officials posted in the L-G office, the file was sent back as it did not mention the expenditure to be incurred for the entire tour. “It’s a crucial detail for a proposal to be cleared in the first place. This is why, the L-G asked for these details and a cost-benefit analysis of the tour, but no such details have been furnished by the Delhi government so far,” said a senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Senior AAP leader and MLA Atishi Singh said, “The L-G does not have the authority to question any proposal sent by the elected government. He can either accept or send it to the President in case of a difference of opinion." Also, when asked about the average cost of the tour, AAP leaders refrained from sharing the same. AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, calling the rejection “unconstitutional", said it is beyond the L-G’s power to raise objections to a proposal made by an elected CM on the “transferred subjects". “The L-G questioned the need for teachers to go to Finland. So, we want to inform him globally, only two education models are widely recognised — Delhi and Finland. This is why, we want our primary schoolteachers to go to Finland and study their education model, which will help us further improve our education system here.” The Delhi government had proposed sending a batch of 30 primary teachers to Finland’s Jyvaskyla University in March this year. Deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia had on January 12 said the L-G has stalled the proposal, not allowing its primary teachers to go on the tour. The AAP and the BJP-led Centre have been locked in a bitter battle since with the latter questioning the need for sending teachers out to Finland and raising questions like why it could not do the training in the country itself. A team from Finland had visited Kerala last year to study Kerala’s education model.
The legal tussleEducation is a subject transferred to the Delhi Legislative Assembly in the Constitution. At present, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court is hearing a dispute between the Delhi government and the Centre over the control of services. In 2018, another such constitution bench has ruled in the favour of the AAP-led state government in a similar tussle.
About the teacher-training programme?The Delhi government under its State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) had planned to send batches of primary teachers to Finland’s Jyvaskyla University for a five-day training programme. The group comprises in-charges of primary classes in Delhi government schools and educators of the SCERT. The state council has an annual budget provision for such training programmes and has been given grants-in-aid by the Delhi government to conduct such exchanges with other countries. The ruling AAP government plans to train 1,000 such educators in different batches in Finland.
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