Ghaziabad authority asks private schools to list number of BPL students
The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) has sent a notice to 119 private schools which had obtained land at concessional rates, seeking details of the number of below poverty line (BPL) students, within 15 days.
The land was allotted to schools at concessional rates on certain conditions, including reservation of 10% of the seats for BPL students. As per the norms, BPL students are also given a 50% fee waiver in such schools.
The notice is expected to increase scrutiny on private schools, which are already on their toes over the ‘arbitrary’ fee hike.
“Schools will submit details about the admissions given to BPL students. The schools got land at 40% of then prevailing circle rates. The 60% concession was available till 2011 and there was an alteration later. The land, after 2011, is auctioned on a reserve price or above. However, reserving 10% of seats for BPL students and 50% fee waiver is still a condition for the schools,” said Gyanendra Verma, additional secretary, GDA.
Although the authority has served notices, the officials said that they don’t have the exact number of seats available in the schools concerned. The officials also added that most of the schools had replied that no BPL student had sought an admission.
“In such a case, we will forward the replies to the education department officials through the district magistrate, who can inquire and take action for enforcing the condition,” Verma said.
However, the agitating parents said that the authorities have shown a lax attitude in enforcing conditions for benefitting BPL students.
“Their (private schools) fee is high and the BPL families are not confident to step into such schools. Some schools teach BPL children on different premises, away from their main complex. This amounts to discrimination. It is time that authorities start taking the issue seriously and enforce conditions, be it the GDA’s or the government’s,” said Neeraj Bhatnagar, a parent.
“To increase transparency in this process, schools should be directed to display seats available (under the quota) and the students who have been given admissions under it. Officials should also conduct a physical check of such schools,” said Sachin Soni, a member of all school parents’ association.