Monday, June 26, 2017

Action against pvt schools raises hackles

The Tribune: Amritsar: Monday, June 26, 2017.
The action initiated by the Education Department against little known private schools in rural areas for charging a hefty fee while ignoring reputed city schools has not gone down well with a section of the city residents.
President of the United Human Rights Organisation Vishal Joshi said on the directions of the Circle Education Officer, Jalandhar, under which Amritsar also falls, the fee record of 200 schools were checked.
Barring DAV School, Joshi said, an RTI application revealed, that no other reputed educational institute was brought under the net of checking. He said upon inquiring, the department stated that the name of the school was erroneously put in the list. He said a majority of the schools, probed for their high fee structure, are situated in the rural areas of the city or in villages.
Joshi claimed that the department was reluctant to share information regarding the action taken against private schools under the Regulatory Fees Act, 2016. He said he was released information only after he had filed an appeal under section 19 of the Right to Information Act.
Interestingly, he said the district administration-appointed committee of the Education Department had found all CBSE-affiliated schools blatantly violating norms by charging excess fee from the students in April 2016. He said many schools were found charging excess fee to the tune of 40 per cent.
However, even after the promulgation and implementation of the Act, no action has been taken against these reputed schools of the city.
President of the Punjab Parents Association (PPA) MK Sharma said the existing fee and funds structure of all private schools must be brought down by at least 30 per cent and the Act must ensure the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) guidelines.
He demanded that funds like re-admission fee and annual fee etc must be abolished. All the deputy commissioners as well as the district education officers must be empowered to take action against the schools, violating the guidelines of the Regulatory Fees Act, 2016.