Will take over 449 pvt schools if they do not refund extra fee: Kejriwal
NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday warned that the Delhi government will take over 449 private schools in the capital – which have been served show-cause notices over charging extra fee – if they do not refund to the students.
Addressing a press conference here, his first in nearly four months, the Chief Minister said the government does not intend to "interfere", but will surely "discipline" the schools, if needed.
The schools are among the ones identified by a committee headed by Justice Anil Dev Singh as having overcharged parents on the pretext of implementing recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was also present, said the show-cause notices were served four days ago with a deadline to respond within two weeks.
"The schools will not be allowed to loot students like they used to do under previous governments due to political collusion.
"Some of them are doing good work. But if they don't implement the recommendations of the panel's report then we will take them over as a last resort," Kejriwal said.
The panel, formed last year, had scrutinised a total of 1,108 private unaided schools.
Kejriwal said among the schools that have not rolled back the fee hike, one had a surplus of Rs 15 crore while another had Rs 5 crore surplus.
"I hope we don't have to take over. Today, we intend to send out a message to the managements of those schools to implement the recommendations," Kejriwal said.
He further said that the government is not against private schools, rather believes that "private schools are part of our education policy."
Sisodia said the government was keeping a watch on everything and will verify cases where schools have claimed to have returned fees.
"As they did not comply, the court asked the Delhi government what is being done. We said that we will implement (the report) and if needed, we will take over the schools," the Deputy CM said.
"We are not against private schools, there is no witch hunting. We are appealing to these 449 schools to implement the committee's recommendations and give back the extra fees," Sisodia added.