Bill tabled to make admissions donation free in private schools

New Delhi :Touted as “huge” systemic reforms, AAP government today tabled two Bills proposing radical changes in the education system of the national capital, specially aimed at tightening the leash on private schools by doing away with donations and screening process for nursery admissions.

The Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill (DSEAA) and the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill, which were introduced by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, stipulate hefty fine and imprisonment for violators.

However, Sisodia stressed that the government was not against “privatisation” of education. The discussion on the same is likely to take place next week.

“Congratulations Manish for presenting such huge systemic reforms in education. Proud of u,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

“In Delhi there are 1,800 private schools. We are not against privatisation of education but against the fleecing of people and turning of education into a business. Admission in these schools has turned into a nightmare.

“Financial irregularities have been found. Fees is being diverted for purposes other than education. Instead of fixing fees we are talking of verifying accounts. We are framing a law which will ensure yearly audit. The present law has provision for derecognition only,” Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister said in the Assembly.

The three BJP MLAs walked out of the House saying that the tabling of the Bills amounted to violation of Transaction of Business Rules as it requires the approval of the Centre.

“The thing is the party they belong to does the same. PM flies out of country and they walk out of House. Their walkout explains their intention. We are going to construct 8,000 new classrooms and 20 new schools by the next session,” he said.

A committee shall be constituted for the purpose of verification of the accounts of schools in accordance with the provisions of the proposed Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill.

It shall consist of a retired High Court judge or a retired District judge or a retired officer not below the rank of principal secretary.

As per the proposed amendment in the DSEAA, offenders can be levied penalty of different grades for taking interviews at the entry levels including the nursery admission and charging capitation fees.

Under this amendment offenders will be liable for a fine which may extend up to Rs 5 lakh for the first contravention and Rs 10 lakh for each subsequent contravention.

Sisodia said that the existing penal provisions, withdrawal of recognition and taking over of management, affects the students and hamper effective penal action.

“Since Delhi has its own legislature now, it is proposed to omit the requirement of seeking prior approval of the Central government for making any rule under Delhi School Education Rules, 1973,” Sisodia said.