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Sisodia tables bills to curb irregularities by private schools

New Delhi: The two bills tabled by deputy chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia on Saturday has sent a warning to the private schools in the capital. The bills aim at keeping a vigil over the accounts of the schools and ensure a parity in the salary between teachers of private and government schools.

The two bills, Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill and Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill in the Assembly, would prevent the private schools from fleecing the parents and children during the admission process. The new law will also do away with the interviews of children and parents at the elementary level.

Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio in the AAP government, made it clear that any school found accepting capitation fee or donation or conducting interviews for nursery admission will be fined with a minimum fine of Rs 5 lakh. Repetition of such similar offence could result in a jail term of three years, he warned.

“The existing laws only provide for de-recognition of the schools. While this is no deterrent for the school owners, the teachers and students have to suffer because of this. But the new law will put an end to the monopoly of private schools and violation will result in a hefty penalty,” Sisodia said.

The Bill facilitates the Delhi government to constitute a committee for the verification of accounts of the schools. The committee will examine the accounts of the schools and see whether the fee being collected from students is spent on education. The bill also has a provision for refunds if an excess fee is charged by the schools.

“Every school shall submit duly audited financial return and other documents along with the proposed fee structure for the next academic year to the committee,” the Bill read.

Notably, a probe by the Delhi High Court-appointed Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee revealed prevalent financial irregularities by private schools in Delhi.

“The private schools cannot be allowed to collect hefty fees from students and use it for running their business. We will also ensure that no genuine school owner will be harassed,” Sisodia said.

However, BJP is opposing the bill. The Delhi assembly is expected to hold a discussion on the bill on Monday.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Picture Courtesy: www.thequint.com)

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