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Delhi govt says takeover of 449 private schools will not hit students

Atishi Marlena, adviser to education minister Manish Sisodia, said that the change will be at the management level and teachers and students will not be affected by it.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2017 12:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Manish Sisodia,Atishi Marlena
Atishi Marlena, adviser to the education minister Manish Sisodia, said the government takeover of the schools will initially be for one year, and later this period can be extended to three years, if deemed necessary.(Burhaan Kinu/HT FILE)

Delhi government’s proposal to take over 449 private unaided schools, after they failed to refund excess fee charged from parents despite government orders, will not impact the current students and teachers directly, officials said.

The proposal, if approved by the Lieutenant Governor, will allow the schools to first reply to a show cause notice in two weeks on why the school should not be taken over by the government.

Schools also have the option of going to the court to get a stay on the matter.

Atishi Marlena, adviser to the education minister Manish Sisodia, said the government takeover of the schools will initially be for one year, and later this period can be extended to three years, if deemed necessary.

She said the students and teachers will not be directly impacted by the change as academics will continue as it is.

“The teachers will remain same and so will be other academic matters. There will be no change in the fee. Only the management will be taken over by the government to take care of the financial issues of the school,” she said.

Marlena said after taking the school, the government will settle the finances and see if there is a need to continue with the takeover or allow the management to come back.

“Only in cases where the management does reclaim the school, will the government stay. Otherwise, it is a temporary measure,” she said.

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However, private schools said the move was impractical and impossible. SK Bhattacharya, president of Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private School, an umbrella body of private schools, said, “It will only happen if the schools don’t comply with the order. But is it even possible for the government to take over so many schools? It is impractical and only a move to threaten the schools,” he said.

Bhattacharya said schools should refund any excess fee charged from parents but, “that needs to be calculated properly. If there are some grievances of the schools then it should be taken into account”.

The schools, which include some of the top schools in Delhi, had charged increased fee from parents on the pretext of implementing sixth pay commission in 2008.

But a high court-appointed committee found the hike to be unreasonable and recommended that the hiked fee be refunded to parents along with a 9% interest.

The government has been issuing orders to these schools to refund the fee but with no results so now the government has proposed to take them over. The proposal has been sent to the L-G for approval.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 12:27 IST