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Arvind Kejriwal refuses to answer how many new schools his govt opened in Delhi, ignores offer from Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma to visit Assam schools

A Twitter spat is ongoing between both the Chief Ministers, which broke out after the Assam government decided to merge 34 schools with other schools over their poor results.

On Saturday, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal engaged in a war of words with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma to defend the education model of Delhi. A Twitter spat is ongoing between both the Chief Ministers, which broke out after the Assam government decided to merge 34 schools with other schools over their poor results.

“When will you invite me to see the schools in Assam? You invite and I’ll be there”, Kejriwal said in a tweet on August 27.

This came after the Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday that schools and colleges in Assam were 1000 times better than those in Delhi. Sarma also invited Kejriwal and offered to show the medical colleges in the state along with the schools. Kejriwal in his response to the Assam CM seemingly assumed that the latter was not interested in actually showing the Assam schools and was just teasing.

Ignoring the seriousness of the ongoing conversation, Kejriwal hid behind a proverb and claimed that Sarma doesn’t want him to visit Assam. “If someone asks ‘when shall I come’ and you say ‘come anytime’, it simply means you don’t want the person to visit you. Similarly, when I asked you ‘when should I come to see your government school’ you didn’t even respond. Tell me when shall I come, I’ll be there”, he tweeted.

Notably, the way in which Delhi CM responded to Assam CM’s offer, it appeared as if the former himself is not interested in going to Assam and visiting the schools there. This comes after Sarma slammed Kejriwal for blatantly comparing the education system of both the states and said that he need not worry about the education system in Assam. He also said that Kejriwal need not worry about the country’s development as PM Modi was already working on it.

The saga began on August 25 when Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal criticized the Assam govt for the decision to merge 34 schools with other schools following their poor performance in board exams. Quoting a report saying that the Assam govt has ordered to close 34 schools after not a single student was able to pass the 10th exam from those schools, Kejriwal tweeted that closing schools is not the solution. “We need to open many new schools all over the country. Instead of closing the school, improve the school and make education right”, he had added.

Responding to this, Sarma stated that Assam had opened 8610 new government schools which included 8391 private schools taken over by the government in the state. “How many new schools Delhi Government has started in the last 7 yrs?”, he had pondered.

While the Assam CM and everyone else were waiting for Kejriwal to respond with the corresponding numbers for Delhi, he decided to dodge the question completely. Instead, he claimed that he was not criticizing the education system in Assam, and instead, everyone should learn from each other to make the country number one. Then he offered to visit Assam to see the Assam government’s work in education, and invited Sarma to Delhi so that he can show his government’s work in the sector.

However, Himanta Biswa Sarma lambasted Kejriwal for his attempt to compare the education sector in both states. Pointing out how the scale of the challenge in Assam is vastly different from what Kejriwal faces in Delhi, he tweeted, “Your ignorance is painful. Let me help you. Assam is 50 times bigger than Delhi! Our 44521 govt schools teach 65 lakh students- against your 1000+ odd schools. Our army of dedicated teachers numbers 2+ lakh; Midday meal workers 1.18 lakh. Fathom it?”

He added that, unlike Delhi, Assam has to manage the fury of floods, deal with militancy, negotiate hilly & tough terrains – and yet deliver high-quality education. Pointing out further differences between the two states, Assam CM said, “We impart education in six mediums including 14 different tribal languages. Our diversity is something that we’re proud of, cherish, & ensure to thrive through our unique education system. And yes, we do not have resources like that in Delhi. We’re proud of what we’ve and do!”

The six mediums that schools in Assam impart education are Assamese, English, Hindi, Bodo, Bengali, and Nepali. He then invited Arvind Kejriwal to visit Assam and said that after he sees the challenges faced by Assam, he will stop lecturing. “We’re amazing hosts. Please come; spend 2 nights in our riverine area and hill districts. See the challenges we face. You’ll stop lecturing,” Sarma tweeted. The Assam CM also offered to show the medical colleges in Assam, saying they are 1000 times better than Kejriwal’s Mohalla clinics.

Meanwhile, Assam CM also pointed out the vast difference between Delhi and Assam. “Delhi is basically a municipality, and it has been the capital of India for a long time, on the other hand, Assam is a remote state with several challenges”, he said.

“They run 1200 schools where 15-16 lakh children study, and we run schools in areas like North Kachar Hills, Karbi Anglong Hills, Riverine areas where even today there is no electricity. We deal with almost a crore of students in 50,000-60,000 schools. There can’t be a comparison between a municipality and a state”, he noted reiterating that talking about the Delhi model of education is meaningless.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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