Private schools in the district have voiced concern over being made to pay for the conduct of the 40 State-level science exhibition organised by Department of School Education in Coimbatore from December 28 to 30, 2012.
On condition of anonymity, the head of a matriculation school in Coimbatore said that schools were upset over being burdened with the expenditure for an event in which they were neither consulted nor involved in any way.
All schools were directed to pay the money before a meeting held by the Department to approve all the school’s examination results for Standards L.K.G to IX. This meeting was held on April 25.
Since 2010-11, matriculation schools have been directed to get the Department’s approval before releasing their examination results.
In a circular dated April 22, 2013, a copy of which is with The Hindu, the Inspector of Matriculation Schools directs all schools to pay Rs. 3,000 each towards the expenses incurred for holding the science exhibition. The schools were told to produce a “no-objection certificate” in this regard.
Another point of contention was that the schools were directed to pay the amount to the Head Master of a government school, who was also the convenor for schools, and not to the State Treasury. The convener issues the receipt for the money.
However, he goes on to add that his school had paid the money as they did not want to antagonise the department, which had to renew the schools’ recognition every three years.
When contacted, Chief Education Officer A. Gnanagowri told The Hindu on Friday that this practice was followed in all cities that hosted the State-level science expo.
“The government schools also shared the burden. They were asked to pay from Parents Teachers Association funds. As private schools do not have such funds, we asked them to pay. Proper clearance for this order had been obtained,” she said.
“In any case, no school in Coimbatore has submitted their objections to the department. If any were to express their inability to bear this expenditure, the Department would consider their case.”
However, Ms. Gnanagowri added that a majority of the schools here had already paid the amount and exempting a few schools might cause concern among the rest.