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Delhi govt to introduce bills banning screening of kids during admissions

Delhi govt to introduce bills banning screening of kids during admissions
In the Winter session of the Delhi Assembly starting on Wednesday, the Delhi government will introduce bills to constitute a ‘regulatory body’ for private schools and ban all types of screening of kids and their parents during nursery admissions. 

The government has also decided to remove the ‘archaic’ provision of Delhi School Education Act 1973 which mandates private schools to pay teachers at par with government pay scale.

“The bill prohibits any type of screening of kids at entry level in private schools and mandates them to strictly stick to random selection method. We have also introduced differential punishments like imposing fines as well as imprisonment up to three years on violation of the selection rules, charging of capitation fee and other financial irregularities,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a press meet on Tuesday. 

“We do not intend to regulate fee charged by private schools but the regulatory body will ensure the annual audit of accounts of each and every school to ensure the money collected from the fee is not diverted or siphoned off,” added the Chief Minister. Millennium Post was the first to report the government’s decision to constitute ‘regulatory body’ and ban ‘screening of kids’ in its news reports on July 2 and June 30, respectively. The government aims to ban all types of capitation fee, direct or indirect donation, cash or kind except for the ‘frontal fee’ mentioned at the time of admission, emphasised Kejriwal.

“A school needs to charge a minimum of Rs 3,000 per student to pay salary to teachers at par with government schools. If we go by those rules, around 600-700 schools will have to be de-recognised as they cater to the needs of the lower and lower middle class and pay pittance to their teachers,” said Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister.

“We know the schools pay pittance to their teachers but show high salary on registers. The accountants empanelled to audit their accounts will also check fake bills if any. We want them to work honestly,” emphasised Sisodia. 

He further added that the government will devise a formula to enable private schools to expend their income on salary on teachers besides making it mandatory to pay as per the minimum wages decided by the government. 

“As per rough estimates, a school expends 50-60 percent of its income on salary but an exact figure is yet to be reached,” he added. 

As per the rules, the fine for first offence of ‘screening’ will be Rs 5 lakh while Rs 10 lakh on each of the subsequent offences. 

Those who will be charging capitation fee will be fined 10 times of the capitation fee and imprisonment up to three years in both the cases. 

The decision also includes centralised system for EWS seats, online filing of annual returns and simplifying the procedures. 
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