Keep tabs on education sector, Supreme Court tells government

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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The Supreme Court has directed the government to strictly monitor public and private schools to ensure people’s right to education. 

Lack of government control in the education sector has raised serious questions over the public’s right to education, employment, social security and right against exploitation, the SC said in the full text of its two-month old verdict.

The court had issued the verdict after rights activists, including Shreekrishna Subedi, moved the apex court demanding its intervention to regulate the education sector. They had said that schools were operating against the existing rules and regulations and sought court order to regulate the management of schools, provisions regarding the sales of textbooks and fees. 

The gravity of the issues demands that the government comes up with a reform programme to ensure people’s right to education, said a division bench of Justices Tahir Ali Ansari and Baidhyanath Upadhayay. 

The justices directed the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Education, the Department of Education, Curriculum Development Board, PABSON and NPABSON to evaluate the infrastructure of schools before granting licences. 

Effective and regular monitoring of quality of education through the DEO is a must to ensure that the children’s right to get admission is upheld and the schools charge appropriate fees, the judgement states. 

“The schools should not charge more than Rs 25 for admission forms and not more than Rs 100 as entrance fee,” the court held. 

The bench directed schools not to charge any fees without prior approval from the government agency concerned. The schools should not hike their fees for three years, said the justices. 

The court held that schools should only use government-approved text books and refrain from selling uniform and books on their premises. The government should determine ceilings for school fees by classifying schools into five categories (A to E) as per the Education Act, it added.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)