Education dept to issue notices to 4 schools

The south Mumbai schools flouted retirement age norms,claims NGO Buland Chhawa.

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Published:February 28, 2013 12:34 am

The south Mumbai schools flouted retirement age norms,claims NGO Buland Chhawa.

Following a complaint by an NGO,the school education department plans to issue notices to four reputed schools in south Mumbai for appointing principals and teachers in violation of the state retirement age regulations.

The complaint filed by Buland Chhawa alleges that principals and teachers of the four schools have continued in service despite having passed retirement age.

Deputy director of school education (Mumbai) N B Chavan said,“According to MEPS Regulation Act,whatever norms and regulations are stipulated by the state government will be applicable to all private schools. These include schools affiliated to CBSE,ICSE,IB and IGCSE boards. As per these regulations,an employee of a private school must retire after completion of 58 years. If these principals and teachers are working even after completion of 58 years of age,it is a violation and their appointments stand invalid. The education inspector of south zone will send them notices,” Chavan told The Indian Express.

Nana Kute Patil of Buland Chhawa,who filed the complaint,said,“Many non-state board schools are in the practice of appointing retired candidates to the posts of principal. I had filed an RTI query with 39 private,non-state board schools. The first information I got was from St Mary’s School (ICSE) and I reported the matter to the education department on December 26,2012. The education department sent a notice to them on January 14,2013. No action has been taken against the school.”

He added,“I have received details of other schools and have filed a complaint against them. I have also written to the school education minister and director of school education.”

As per details provided by the education department in reply to an RTI query,the current age of Meera Isaac,principal of Cathedral and John Connon School,is 66,the age of Perin Bagli,principal of Activity High School,is 64 and that of Shobha Dove,principal of Diamond Jubilee High School,59. Three teachers at Bombay Scottish High School continue to work despite having crossed the retirement age.

When approached,the schools said MEPS Act was not applicable to them but only to state board schools. “We are an unaided,private minority school. Our school is run by a private trust,we are affiliated to ICSE and MEPS Act is not applicable to us. The state government knows about this. This seems to be someone’s vested interest,” said Isaac.

Bagli said,“I do not know about any such complaint. We are an unaided,private school and no such Act is applicable to us.”

Bombay Scottish principal Melanie Chandrashekhar could not be contacted.

N B Chavan said,“If they claim that MEPS Act is not applicable to them,they must have rules stipulated by their respective boards. They should come and show these rules to us to prove that their appointments are valid.”

Claim,counter

The complaint states that four schools — Cathedral and John Connon at Fort,Activity High School at Pedder Road,Bombay Scottish at Mahim and Diamond Jubilee School at Mazgaon — have flouted Section 3 (I) of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (MEPS) (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act,1977,which is applicable to all private schools

The schools say MEPS Act is not applicable to them but only to state board schools

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