Acting on the chief minister's instructions, the school education department has initiated the process of serving show-cause notices to the private managements of 19 Adarsh Schools for fudging the enrolment figures of students and indulging in many other irregularities to receive more grants from the Punjab government.
Interestingly, five of the 24 Adarsh Schools run by Bharti Enterprises were found to be working satisfactorily.
Director general of school education (DGSE) Kahan Singh Pannu said the 19 schools played a fraud on the government by showing more than the actual strength of students to get aid over and above the grants already sanctioned. The government pays 70% of the monthly expenses of Adarsh Schools.
Despite making students pay for transportation, Adarsh School managements had been availing funds from the government by claiming that they were spending money on students' travel, said Pannu, adding that serious financial irregularities had surfaced during the audit of these schools.
Pannu said that despite claiming money from the government, the managements of these schools had not provided free books and uniforms to students. He said the managements had floated 9-10 firms each for supply of school items, computer services, sports goods, books, musical instruments and health services, but the firms were found headed by former employees for obvious reasons.
One school had even claimed Rs 2.16 lakh as monthly rent to pay to a private firm that gives smart-class equipment on rent, although the equipment had not been installed. Another school claimed Rs 54,000 as building maintenance charges even as the building was still under construction. One of the schools claimed Rs 49,500 for providing medical facilities to students, but the students said no doctor had ever visited the school.
Another school cheated the government by claiming Rs 95,000 for the purchase of musical instruments and instructor charges. Similarly, a sum of Rs 1.47 lakh was sanctioned to a school, apart from Rs 25,000 as monthly rent for sports goods. "An annual rent of Rs 3 lakh for sports goods is extremely high. I am sure buying them would work out to be cheaper," said Pannu.
Though the government had sanctioned the salaries of teachers in time, the private managements had not been paying the teachers accordingly. Besides, some of the teachers and employees were shown as working in more than one institution, and that too on inflated salaries.
List of defaulter schools
Private management School location
Educomp Solutions, New Delhi
Baba Isher Singh Educational Society
Daulatpura Niwan, Munawa, Ranish Kalan (Moga); Hardasa (Ferozpur)
Balaji Education Trust, Bhopal
Boha, Sahnewali (Mansa); Malla, Miduman (Faridkot)
FCS Software Soltuions Ltd
Jandiala, Naya Gran (Nawanshahr); Ganduar, Bald Khurd (Sangrur); Kaloke (Barnala)
Aklia Education Society
Chaunke, Pathrala (Bathinda)
Chief Khalsa Diwan, Amritsar