Vellore District Collector Ajay Yadav on Friday said that the district administration would soon create a helpline for parents and students to lodge their complaints against exorbitant fees collection, corporal punishment and other education-related problems.
“We have been receiving a lot of complaints related to the collection of excessive fees, corporal punishment and other education-related problems frequently. The administration will soon create a helpline to facilitate the public and parents to lodge their complaints,” said the Collector during a review meeting on the Right to Education (RTE) Act held at the Collectorate. Around 250 representatives of parents-teachers associations, principals and correspondents of private matriculation schools in the district took part in the review meet.
Education department would look into the complaints and take appropriate action. “Quality education is the right of every child. The government is taking initiatives to ensure it,” he said and added that private schools should not treat education as business.
He also urged the private schools to pay Property Tax on time and said that as many as 148 private and matriculation schools in the district had failed to pay their Property Taxes. “I will send a letter to the respective schools and make sure that they pay the Property Tax at the earliest,” said the Collector.
Chief Education Officer, Pon Kumar, said that the helpline would be established in his office at the Collectorate.
The Collector further said that the private and matriculation schools should adhere to the fee fixation committee’s fee structure and appoint qualified teachers. When the Collector asked whether any school fulfilled the 25 per cent of seat allocation for local students as per the provisions of the RTE Act, a correspondent of a private school responded that they had not received any clear instructions till date.
He added that a delay in admitting the students as per the RTE Act would bring down the quality of the education.
A member of the parents-teachers association said that many private schools were skipping the entire portions of class IX and XI to start teaching the students class X and XII subjects to make them earn more marks in the public examinations. She urged the Collector and the education department to take severe action against such schools.
Admitting to the existence of such malpractice in many schools, the CEO said that it would not be possible from next year as the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) would ensure that a grade system was followed in evaluating the student for elevation to the next level.
On complaints of schools functioning on holidays and beyond school hours, the CEO said that schools should not function on holidays and should follow uniformity.