Delhi Education Minister and Arvind Kejriwal’s Dy Manish Sisodia has been in the news for for the past one week, but for all the wrong reasons. As the storm over the CBI raid at his home over allegations of corruption in the liquor policy continues, with the AAP and the BJP caught in a war of words, social media is a hotbed of misinformation regarding the recent developments.
It is in this context that an image of a New York Times front page featuring a report on the transformation of government schools in the national capital is going viral.
Several users on social media are pointing out that the report was reproduced in UAE based Khaleej Times word-to-word, and cite this to be enough evidence to prove that NYT featured a paid report on the behest of AAP.
Many users also claimed that one of the images used in the report, showing a young girl standing in a classroom surrounded by her peers, was in fact from a private school in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar, and not a government run school. Newschecker found that the claim was not true.
BJP members Kapil Mishra, Rakesh Goel and Priti Gandhi were among several social media users who accused the Kejriwal government of sharing the image from a private school, and passing it off as a government school.
The same claim is going viral on Facebook as well.
To begin with, Newschecker analysed the viral image and on a closer inspection we spotted “Sarvodaya” written on the students’ uniforms, indicating that the students actually belong to the said institution.
Following this, we looked up keywords “Sarvodaya,” “Sarvodaya Vidyalaya,” “Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Delhi, “govt schools in Delhi” on Twitter which led us to a post by @kapsology of AAP’s social media team dated August 19, 2022. The tweet carried two images, including the viral one, with the caption “Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Kakrola (New Delhi).”
In the second image students can be seen seated on the floor as a speaker addresses them. Notably, the students can be seen wearing the same uniform as in the viral image.
Taking a clue, we looked up Google images for Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Kakrola and found a picture posted in August 2021. On comparing the second image posted by @kapsology with the picture on Google, we could conclude that both the images are from the same place.
This confirmed that the girl students-whose uniform is the same as in the viral picture- seen in the second picture were indeed seated in the premises of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Kakrola.
Newschecker compared the image featured in the NYT article on govt schools in Delhi with the widely circulated picture from Mother Mary’s School. On carefully analysing both the images, we noticed several differences in the uniforms of both the schools. To begin with, the colour of the collar of the school uniform is different. Additionally, none of the students in the image published in the NYT can be seen wearing an ID card around the neck, while all the students seen in the images of Mother Mary’s School can be seen wearing one. The size of the logo seen in the uniform of Mother Mary’s School is also different from that seen in the viral image.
The picture published in NYT also featured a group of male students. Notably, Mother Mary’s School is not co-ed, and is an all girls school.
Newschecker also shared the image published in the NYT article with Mother Mary’s School via email, who confirmed that the picture was not from their school.
Furthermore, NYT spokesperson told us over an e-mail, “We firmly stand behind the caption and given location of the photograph published by The New York Times. If you zoom in on the students’ uniforms in the picture, it clearly shows the logo of the Sarvodaya public school we have written about, and not any other.”
Viral posts claiming that a New York Times reportage on transformation of govt schools in Delhi under Aam Aadmi Party leadership featured a picture from a private school are false.
If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback, or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at [email protected]. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form.