ChandigarhDecember 28, 2010 : “Private schools should not be allowed to increase the fee or funds from the balance 75 percent of the students by making “Right to Education (RTE)” as an excuse. The Administration must safeguard the interest of the rest of the children too. Most of the students in the general category belong to middle class and their interest too should be protected. They too should be saved from exploitation by private school shops.” Hemant Goswami, the invited member by Chandigarh Administration for drafting of RTE rules stressed about this in a meeting with the Education Secretary.
In a detailed response to the draft rules for the implementation of the Chandigarh Right to Education Rules, Hemant also suggested to include clear instructions regarding admission among the disadvantaged segment of the society. It has been suggested that, “A student seeking admission to any school should apply to any of the school directly. In case any school refuses to receive the admission form, the student can submit his application to the centralised registry/ local authority (Office of DPI) along with a complaint against the school. No school shall reject any admission form/ request for any reason. For every form received, the school must issue a valid receipt with a unique diary number. In case any school is of the opinion that any student is not eligible for admission under the RTE quota, the said school shall communicate the reasons for the same (Along with a copy of the form and other details) to the centralised registry/ local authority (Office of DPI) within 3 days from the receipt of the form. Such communication should be sent by-hand under proper receipt by the school. In no event the school can refuse to accept the form. After the receipt of the communication from the school, the centralised registry/ local authority (Office of DPI) shall decide the issue within 3 working days and thereafter if agrees with the contention of the school, communicate the same to the school. If the school receives no communication with regard to its communication within 7 working days of making of the said communication, the school shall have no other option but to admit the student under the applied category.”
The detailed seven page note also suggested that first preference should be given to the students coming from within the 3 kilometre radius of the school followed by the next 3km and so on. The guideline adopted for admission among financially disadvantaged group must be “Need Based,” i.e. those belonging to the “Below Poverty Line” group (as notified by the Government) should be given the first preference followed by the next economic group as defined by the administration from time to time.”
It has also been stressed that in the event the school fails to keep prober account or get it audited on time or in case there is a complaint by any person with regard to mis-utilisation and/or wrongful use of the school funds; Chandigarh Administration should have the rights to get a compulsory audit done by independent auditors and/or government auditors. No unnecessary expenditure like purchase of luxury cars, luxury travel, and purchase of unnecessary items is made out of the funds of the trust/ society running the school/ institution should be incurred by society/trust running schools.
Hemant mentioned that the procedure relating to de-recognition of school also needs rethinking considering the fact that all the resources in private schools also come through charitable contribution of the public. All schools are registered as charitable societies or trust. It has been suggested that in the event of de-recognition of any school, the Chandigarh Administration should take control of the resources, building and funds of the said society/ trust and either hold it under one of the neighbouring school, or under another society/trust, or move the court of local jurisdiction for changing the management/ governors/ trustees of the delinquent society/trust/ school for the purpose of imparting quality education and preventing waste of the public resources existing with the delinquent society/trust. In such an eventuality the resources, building and funds of the said society/ trust are placed under another body, the new governing body should strive to remove all the anomalies in the operation of the trust/ society/ school to regain recognition.
A proper redress mechanism for teachers has also been suggested; it has been proposed that as per the provisions of Section 38(n) of the Act, the Chandigarh State Advisory Council should also function as the redressal body for handling grievances of the teachers. Any teacher working in any school mentioned in Section 2(n) and aggrieved by the functioning of the school or any other matter concerning his/her rights and/or any communication/ order passed disadvantaging such teacher can make a complaint to the Chandigarh State Advisory Council.