OTHERS

Govt. announces norms for schools in Bangalore Urban

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: In an effort to streamline the admission process and fee collection and contain the donation menace, the Government has evolved a set of norms and instructed all aided and unaided private school managements (State syllabus) in Bangalore Urban district to strictly adhere to them from the 2005-2006 academic year.

It has also constituted a district-level Education Regulatory Authority, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore Urban, to initiate action against erring school managements, the Minister for Primary and Secondary education, R. Ramalinga Reddy, said here today.

He told presspersons that in compliance with Rule 14 (7) of the Karnataka Education Act all private schools should commence the admission process only in April. The process should be transparent and details on availability of seats and fees should be displayed on the notice boards, he said.

Closure

The Government will order the closure of unrecognised schools and withdraw recognition to those that violate the norms over the medium of instruction.

It will also initiate criminal proceedings against unrecognised schools. Persons who run unrecognised schools attract a penalty of Rs. 5,000 and a maximum jail term of three years under the Act, Mr. Reddy explained.

Under the Act, aided and unaided private schools are allowed to collect a development fee of Rs. 500 and Rs. 600 respectively.

They can collect a year's tuition fee as capitation fee from the new students. Apart from these provisions, collection of any other fee barring examination fee in any form is prohibited.

Although private schools that have adopted the Central syllabus, such as CBSE and ICSE, are "exempted" from the purview of the Act, they also come under the Act that advocates the prohibition of donation and are liable for prosecution if the norms are violated, he clarified.

Teachers

On the other restrictions imposed on private schools, the Minister said prescribing "additional textbooks," compelling students to purchase books and stationery only from particular shops or agencies and changing the pattern or colours of uniforms within a year, assigning burdensome homework, appointing untrained persons to teach and not appointing the required number of trained teachers also attract penal measures, he said.

Fee

Asked about the relevance and sanctity of instructions on admission and fee norms as a majority of private schools generally complete the admission process keeping only some seats for themselves to hoodwink the Government, he said: "The Government is aware of such tactics."

Asked about the reported sale of schools, he said change of management is allowed in the Act.

School timings

The Government has instructed all English medium schools in the city to start the day by 8.30 a.m. and asked them to arrange their own transport, from the new academic year, Mr. Reddy said. He said the Government was forced to take this step to bring down the traffic pressure during peak hours.

Asked why only English medium schools have been instructed to reschedule their timings, an official who was present said English medium schools are spread all over the city and the movement of students of such schools before the start of the school and after the school closes for the day is more.

The valuation of the SSLC examination papers is over and the results will announced in the first week of May, Mr. Reddy said. The Government has already recruited 5,000 teachers and it will recruit another 10,000 teachers in 2006.

It will start 110 new high schools in accordance with the D.M. Nanjundappa Committee report.

It will give permission to start any number of schools but will not extend aid, he added.

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