Schools conducting interviews of parents or children before admission will be treated as offenders and become liable for punishment, the state government said on Monday.
“Interviewing parents or children for pre-primary admissions will be a strictly punishable offence and any school flouting this rule will be fined Rs 25,000. If the school is a repeat offender, it will be fined Rs 50, 000,” said state minister for education Rajendra Darda in the legislative assembly on Monday. Darda was grilled for the delay in appointing a competent authority to regulate school managements and ensure neither parents nor children were interviewed.
Darda admitted to the delay and informed the house that the government had nominated zilla parishad chief executive officer (in districts) and the municipal commissioners (in municipal corporations) as competent authorities. A notification had already been issued in this regard on December 2 this year, he said.
To a question raised by Vijay Wadettiwar (Congress) and others, Darda said as per the Right to Education Act, such interviews by a school was illegal. “We have asked the concerned authorities to implement it strictly,” he said.
Bala Nandgaonkar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, pointed out that several schools, particularly CBSE schools, defied the government order and continued to interview parents and children before admission. “Such school managements do not bother about the monetary penalty. They should be booked and their school recognition cancelled for defying a government order,” Nandgaonkar said.
The minister said he had already told officials to implement the policy strictly. Moreover, a new and stricter law will soon be adopted by the union government in this regard so that every child in the country gets an education.
Intervening in the matter, speaker Dilip Walse-Patil said that a draft had been prepared long ago to regulate school and colleges in the state. However, neither had it materialised nor brought before the house for discussion or consideration.