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Major opposition in the way of Delhi’s Education Bill

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AAP Showcased as an initiative to end the donation culture in Delhi schools, the state government’s draft of the proposed Delhi School Education Acts and Rules (DSEAR) 1973, has not been appreciated. In fact, schools, parents and activists are all opposing it.

The draft amendment bill covering fee hikes in private unaided schools proposes to set up a committee that will hear complaints related to fee hike. The government has said it plans to amend three sections – section 17, 24 and 27 of the act – to bring in “fee rationalisation” within the “ambit of the common man.”

Through amendments to section 17, a committee formed by the government can act on complaints against fee hike by a particular school. Under the section, the director will also have the powers to regulate fees charged by private schools and issue binding guidelines.

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Section 24 of the act gives the government the power to impose various fines and punishments on schools found guilty of engaging in illegal activities. Insertion of Section 27(a) will make schools liable for an imprisonment of three to seven years, along with fine of Rs 1 to 5 lakh for contravention of the act. By adding rule 145 to the Delhi school education rules, the director will regulate admissions to classes, including entry-level classes, in private schools.

June 22, 2015 has been extended as the last date for submitting suggestions regarding the legislation.

Schools are busy preparing their objections with the proposed bill. It may be mentioned that school bodies are opposing the draft on account of the proposed legislation “destroying autonomy of private schools”, parents and activists have expressed reservation over the efficacy of the bill in curbing the rampant donation culture. Activists are also calling the bill eyewash.

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