Bill moots fines on teachers, no jail term

Teachers resorting to corporal punishment in schools could be fined up to Rs. 10 lakh, but won’t have to face a three-year jail term as was proposed earlier.

The final draft of the Prohibition of Unfair Practices Bill (2012), which seeks to curb profiteering and unfair practices in schools across India, has been toned down and will now go to the Centre for clearance.

“Teachers hit students out of anger and stress, which is triggered by children’s misbehaviour. They do not intend to harm students and hence the proposed jail term was unfair,” said Suryakant Kulkarni, state representative at the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The final draft, which has been uploaded on the HRD ministry’s website for comments from the public, also states that every school will have to declare details of fees, deposits and other charges to be levied on students at least two months before admissions begin.  

“Schools will not be able to change these components or collect fees under any other head not mentioned in the public notice during mid-session,” states the draft. Schools discriminating against students, compelling parents to buy stationery from a particular shop and other malpractices will be fined Rs. 10 lakh.

Also, the bill has been extended to pre-school classes that are largely unregulated.

 

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