Govt, Pvt Schools Headed for Showdown Over Admissions
By Express News Service | Published: 13th January 2014 08:23 AM |
The state government has taken private schools head on by issuing a new calendar of events and fee structure to regulate general admissions for the 2014-15 academic year.
Acting on complaints that schools charged heavy fees and admitted students in a non-transparent manner, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has issued a circular asking private schools to start admissions for kindergarten, primary and high schools from March 1 and conclude them by April 21.
This direction does not apply to the 25 per cent quota of seats reserved for children from weaker sections of the society under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Commissioner for Public Instruction Mohammad Mohsin has asked schools to “display on notice boards availability of seats for the 75 per cent seats (excluding 25 per cent RTE seats), medium of instruction, calendar of events, fee structure and other information.”
This comes days after private school management representatives announced that their admissions were completed as early as last September.
“Who asked the schools to complete admissions before we asked them to? The state government has the authority to issue a calendar and regulate how and when they admit children,” Mohsin told Express.
“If any school tells parents that they’ve completed admissions, we want them to come forward and give us a complaint. We will not hesitate in filing criminal complaints against such schools.”
Mohsin said there was no provision for the DPI to take suo motu action.
“We need complaints to act upon. We have asked block education officers to ensure schools comply with this,” he said.
Unaided schools have been asked to fix tuition fees for Classes 1-8 based on the existing formula (total salary paid to teachers + 30 per cent of the total salary/total number of students). Further, schools can charge only `600 as special development fees, `38 as non-tuition fee for Classes 6-8 and `185 for Classes 9-10.
Rajkumar (name changed), a resident of Vijayanagar and a bank employee, admitted his daughter into Class 1 in a private school in his area way back in December. “I paid `51,000 of which only `6,000 was tuition fee. What was the government doing till then? This is just an eyewash,” he said.
D Shashi Kumar, organising secretary, Karnataka State Private Schools Managements’ Federation, admitted that some schools violated the calendar of events.
“It is only elite schools that complete admissions in September or November. Still, I think March is a wrong time for admissions as there are exams and holidays,” Kumar said.
However, schools are unhappy over the cap of development fee. “Painters charged `600 two years ago. How does the government expect us to charge only `600 and still keep the school afloat? We want this revised to at least `8,000-`10,000. The `600 cap was fixed 12 years ago and is not scientific in the present context,” he said.
The federation has submitted a representation to Mohsin and Primary and Secondary Education Secretary Rajkumar Khatri in this regard, Shashi Kumar added.
Schedule for Private Schools
Activity and Date
Notification of seats availability
and admission itinerary March 1, 2014
Issue of application forms March 20-31, 2014
Last date to receive application forms March 31, 2014
Notification of merit list and list of rejected applications (with reason) April 4, 2014
Last date for public to file objections to merit/rejection list April 7, 2014
Notification of first list of selected students April 8, 2014
Last date for first list students to get admitted April 15, 2014
Notification of second list of selected students April 16, 2014
Last date for second list students to get admitted April 21, 2014
Source: DPI circular dated January 7, 2014