New Delhi: In a “historic” move on Tuesday, the AAP government passed several bills focused majorly on educational reforms.
The three major bills passed were: the Delhi School Education ( Amendment) Bill 2015, the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Bill) 2015, and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill which eradicates the no-detention policy from entry level classes.
“It is a historic moment,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his talks regarding the bills. “The three bills are proof that we are very serious about education. It is our top priority. Eradicating corruption is just a means, ultimately our goal is that every child in the city is educated and healthy,” he said.
It was necessary to bring these changes in the education system because “in the present, nobody could run a private school without engaging in cheating or corruption,” the chief minister added.
“Now the mechanism will be such that those who want to run their schools with honesty can do so, and those who don’t will be punished,” he said.
However the salaries of teachers would not be reduced, Kejriwal assured.
“Every private school will pay school teachers’ salaries as per what the government prescribes. For this, a committee will give suggestions. Schools will adhere to the formula set by this committee,” he said.
On the other hand, the school fees would supposedly decrease on the account of the transparency that the bills would bring in, claimed the CM.
“Verification of accounts is a first-of-its-kind Act being passed. If it is successful, it could set an example for other states,” he said.
The bill to verify fees was called “bogus” by Opposition leader Vijender Gupta. According to him, the bill would “encourage exploitation of teachers and school staff”. He said that the state government made it easy for private entities to carry out this exploitation legally.
“What the government is doing is legalizing exploitation of parents at the hands of schools. Where does the government think the money will come from if they impose fine on a school? It will be from the parents. What justice is this,” asked the BJP MLA.
Gupta also opposed the fact that Section 10(1) of the Delhi School Education Act, which called for parity between the salaries of government school and private school teachers, was abolished.
The removal of this clause, which had been added only after long protests by teachers, would give undue power to the school authorities, leading to the exploitation of teachers, said Gupta.