The Delhi government has, for now, put on hold the formation of the Vishwas group — comprising students who have failed twice in Class IX and who appear for Class X board exams as private candidates. “Guidelines regarding the Vishwas group shall be kept in abeyance till further orders,” said a Directorate of Education (DoE) circular issued to schools on June 5. The “unexpected” move came just five days after the DoE wrote to the schools on the creation of the Vishwas group.

However, children from classes VI and IX will continue to be divided into sections as per their learning levels under the Chunauti scheme. The June 1 circular had stated that students who have failed twice in the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17, and have studied at government schools, will be eligible to be part of the group. However, the first circular also stated that those who have failed in Class IX once won’t be eligible to participate. The purpose of the group is to “avoid drop out of students”.

While most principals and teachers said they are not aware of the reasons behind the decision, others said there were practical problems in its implementation. “The medium of instruction is a major problem — children who could be grouped together depending on their learning levels might have been studying in different mediums,” the principal of a Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in south Delhi said.

An education activist, however, said the decision could be because students from Vishwas group are failing in large numbers. “As we raised the issue after checking the board results, the government decided to put the creation of the group on hold. They first push the regular school children into patrachar mode and now these children are suffering,” said Ashok Agarwal, president of the All India Parents’ Association (AIPA).

However, Atishi Marlena, adviser to the education minister, said, “New guidelines have been issued thereafter (after June 5). But when The Indian Express checked with the principals of five schools in different parts of the city, all of them maintained that they have not received any new guidelines.