Education officials demand bribe

Derecognised schools in a spot of bother


 
Reason, they have to face frequent pressure to fill the Education Department’s treasury with some bribe! This, apart from a significant drop in the number of students and tough talks with parents to convince them to allow their wards, to continue education at their schools.

Till mid-July 2009, the Education Department was in the process of derecognising private unaided schools for violation of language policy. This was, despite the High Court order that the choice of medium of instruction be vested with the parents and students. Based on the State’s order, the Education Department derecognised many unaided private schools.

The Department bracketing them under ‘derecognised’ schools, had taken many unaided school managements by surprise. The private school managements resorted to various ways to ensure that the department officials who inspected the schools, six to seven times in an academic year, did not list them as derecognised. On several occasions, the department officials had allegedly demanded money to ignore the violation of medium of instruction policy, sources said, on conditions of anonymity.

On the decline in admissions, Rahnaz, Principal, Bharathiya Public School which was listed as derecognised by the Education Department, said, “The admissions had dropped by more than 50 per cent as compared to last year and now we have just about 125 students from class I to VII. Many parents demanded Transfer Certificates (TC) as they did not want their wards to be studying in derecognised schools.”

Higher fee

She said, “We had to give TCs and send students away. Parents in turn, began admitting their wards to ICSE and CBSE schools, paying higher fee and donation.” The Bharathiya Public School had also filed an affidavit as directed by the HC, but it was not accepted by the Education Department, as per the directions of the State.

Some schools conducted meetings with parents to convince them to retain their wards at the schools, after the State listed them as derecognised.

Sabbanna, Headmaster, Modern Public School, said, “Parents, mainly from the lower economic groups request us to educate their wards in English. We are still conducting regular meetings updating parents on the language issue and the schools’ stand on it. Parents desire that their children be educated in English for better employment.”

“We will closely follow the court proceedings. But at the same time, we have begun teaching in English,” a confident Sabbanna added.

On contacting the Education Department, officials on condition of anonymity said that, at present there was no clause to initiate any action against the unaided schools due to the court directions. Denying receiving bribe from unaided schools, the official only said, “The concerned Block Education Officer (BEO) and Education Co-ordinator frequently inspect schools to ensure the students’ strength in a classroom and the attendance, several times throughout the academic year.” 

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