Bihar mulls bill to regulate fee in pvt schools; to follow UP, Gujarat model
As per the 2017 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), private school enrolment in Bihar stood at just 12.9%, as compared to the national average of 24%.
Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday said the state government would soon come up with a bill on the lines of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and many other states to regulate the fee structure in private schools.
The UP government had, earlier this year, brought a bill to check arbitrary fee hikes by private schools, including minority institutions affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and the UP Board of Secondary Education. Karnataka has also framed rules for regulating fee in private schools.
In December last year, the Gujarat high court had also held the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, which came into effect in April 2017, constitutionally valid after it was challenged in the court. Maharashtra, too,came up with a similar Act last year.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body, is said to be in the process of recommending around 10% yearly cap on the fee hike permissible by private, unaided schools.
Speaking at the Teacher’s Day function at SK Memorial Hall here, which chief minister Nitish Kumar could not attend due to illness, Modi said the arbitrary and high fee structure prevented children of poor families from studying in private schools, adding, there was need to regulate it in view of growing demand.
Though private schools’ penetration is very high in other states, it is still quite low in Bihar. As per the 2017 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), private school enrolment in Bihar stood at just 12.9%, as compared to the national average of 24%.
On a day when teachers were engaged in a legal battle with the state government in the Supreme Court for ‘equal pay for equal work’ demand, Modi said in modern times, it was possible to acquire knowledge even without a teacher, as Google had become the ‘guru’ in digital era.
“Teacher does not signify just a category of salaried class,” he said, apparently to send a message across to the teachers.
Modi said in Bihar also, virtual classrooms had been launched in Banka district and they would soon be replicated across the state. “We will start smart classes for students up to classes 9-11,” he said, adding that government was spending Rs 34,333 crore on education alone and a number of initiatives had been successfully adopted to boost enrolment and quality.
On teachers’ demand for old payscale, which is now before the division bench of the apex court, the deputy CM reminded them of their status in 2003 when they were paid just Rs 1,500 as Shiksha Mitras. “The NDA government increased the remuneration to Rs 5,000 in 2006, Rs 15,000 in 2015 and Rs 22,000 plus now,” he said, detailing the various incentive schemes of his government.
Modi also felicitated 17 teachers at the function. Education minister Krishna Nandan Verma was among those present on the occasion.
First Published: Sep 06, 2018 14:43:06