State plans jail term for heads of private schools charging exorbitant fee

State plans jail term for heads of private schools charging exorbitant fee

The Karnataka government is planning to bring new law to regulate fees in private schools with stringent punishment that would include jail term to school managements for indulging in malpractices.

With the raise in number of complaints from parents over exorbitant fees collection by private schools, the government has decided to bring in the new law with provision to put errant managements behind the bars, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar told Deccan Herald.

The minister, who was here to attend Central Advisory Board of Education meeting chaired by Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani, said there were 70,000 private managements run primary, higher primary, secondary schools and pre-University colleges in Karnataka and the government wanted to put an end the menace of exorbitant fee collection by them.

Though at present there is are specific guidelines about the fees to be collected by private schools, it has not been successful in curbing the menace, he said adding that the government hopes that new law could help to screen and control collection of fees. The law will make it mandatory that private schools should take prior permission from the government before hiking the fee, he said.

Ratnakar said that the State government had decided to recruit 967 non-teaching staff to fill vacant posts in government high schools. “The government will also complete the process of recruiting 12,000 primary and secondary schools teachers soon while recruitment of pre-university lecturers has been delayed following technical reasons raised by teachers’ association. Once the matter is solved, the government will fill vacant posts in PU colleges also,” he said.

In the meeting, the minister urged the Centre to provide higher allocations under Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan ( RMSA) over next five years to the State rather than reducing the funds as has been done in the current financial year. He said the Karnataka supported many states’ view that there should be examination for classes from first standard to eighth standard, without any detention policy.

The minister suggested that before extending Right to Education( RTE) Act to pre-school and secondary schools, the he Government of India should hold wider consultation with all stakeholders.

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