Calling it a “historic” moment, the AAP government Tuesday passed a bunch of bills to introduce major reforms in Delhi’s education system. These include the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Bill) 2015, the Delhi School Education ( Amendment) Bill 2015 and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill which scraps the no-detention policy from entry level classes.
“It is a historic moment. The three bills are proof that we are very serious about education. It is our top priority. Eradicating corruption is just a means, ultimately our goal is that every child in the city is educated and healthy,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during discussions on the bill.
It was necessary to bring these changes in the education system because “in the present, nobody could run a private school without engaging in cheating or corruption,” said the chief minister.
“Now the mechanism will be such that those who want to run their schools with honesty can do so, and those who don’t will be punished,” he said.
The chief minister also assured teachers that their salaries would not be reduced. “Every private school will pay school teachers salaries as per what the government prescribes. For this, a committee will give suggestions. Schools will adhere to the formula set by this committee,” he said.
Kejriwal claimed that on account of transparency in the whole system, the fees charged by private schools would also decrease. “Verification of accounts is a first-of-its-kind Act being passed. If it is successful, it could set an example for other states,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta called the fee verification bill ‘bogus’ and accused the government of playing into the hands of private entities to create a document that would “encourage exploitation of teachers and school staff”.
“What the government is doing is legalising exploitation of parents at the hands of schools. Where does the government think the money will come from if they impose fine on a school? It will be from the parents. What justice is this,” asked Gupta.
The BJP MLA also registered his opposition against deletion of Section 10(1) — which deals with pay parity of government and private school teachers — from the Delhi School Education Act.
The clause came after a long struggle by teachers and its elimination would make teachers vulnerable to exploitation from school authorities, he said.