Delhi`s stressed-out teachers reject meditation courses

A plan by authorities in New Delhi to send stressed-out teachers on free meditation courses has backfired after they said they would rather prefer the money was spent on improving the Indian capital`s crumbling schools.

New Delhi: A plan by authorities in New Delhi to send stressed-out teachers on free meditation courses has backfired after they said they would rather prefer the money was spent on improving the Indian capital`s crumbling schools.

Delhi`s new government said on Monday it would send the city`s school teachers on 10-day courses in Vipassana and Anapan -- forms of silent meditation intended to induce calm.

But the Government School Teachers Association said it should instead be focusing on basics like building more classrooms, and providing power and water.

"Many schools are cramped for space with over 100 students in each classroom," the association`s president CP Singh told a news agency on Tuesday.

"Most still have serious electricity supply issues and bad toilets for students... The government should first focus its spending on providing basic school infrastructure."

Delhi`s populist new Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is a regular practitioner of Vipassana, which originated in India but has become fashionable in the West in recent years.

A government document announcing the plan said it would be an effective way of helping teachers to impart "moral education" to their charges.

"What we plan to waste here can instead be used to benefit, improve at least 50 (government) schools for both teachers and students," Singh said.

Government schools in Delhi have a dire reputation. The state`s Education Minister Manish Sisodia said when he took office that government schools were in "a very bad condition".

"People consider it shameful to send their children to a government school because of quality of education," he told a newspaper.