September 04, 2012

Government has no control over schools

A Delhi high court-appointed committee has said that the extent of irregularities indulged in by private schools in the capital to bolster their case for a fee hike in 2009, indicated that the government had no control over their functioning. The panel, which inspected accounts of 200 schools to verify the validity of up to 25 per cent fee hike imposed by them, submitted before the Delhi high court that it was high time the government took action against errant schools.

"Regulatory mechanism envisaged by the law has been thrown to the winds by the directorate of education. Schools are enjoying total and unbridled freedom and are acting in the manner they like," said the three-member committee headed by former Rajasthan high court chief justice Anil Dev Singh.

"Right from the stage of granting recognition, the lack of supervisory control of the directorate of education is writ large. Hardly any inspection is done," it said. Apart from the 64 schools indicted by the panel for unjustifiably hiking fees, the panel also found that at least 50 other schools had fudged account statements and concealed receipt books and made it difficult to ascertain the extent by which they hiked the fee.

"In case violators are not dealt with adequately by the education department, their disdain for the rules would keep on pinching the pockets of the parents," said the panel, recommending punitive action against many such schools.

"The panel's conclusions are sensational. It is a warning bell. Hope it brings a change in the way schools function," said Ashok Agarwal, lawyer for parents in the PIL which triggered formation of a panel to verify the validity of fee hike.

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