October 11, 2011

City schools, colleges face Telangana dilemma

HYDERABAD: Despite the call given by Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) to extend Dasara vacation in view of the ongoing separate state agitation, some private schools and colleges in the city are planning to reopen from Monday.

While many CBSE and ICSE schools in the city have decided to reopen, a few state schools also intimated their students that classes will commence from Monday. A majority of private colleges and other institutions affiliated to Osmania University will also start functioning from Monday.

However, many state syllabus schools, especially those located in areas including Kukatpally, Tarnaka and Abids have announced that they will not be functioning on Monday. The school authorities said that they will take a call on reopening of schools on Tuesday, if the situation is peaceful.

Meanwhile, many parents are agitated over the decision of some of the schools to remain closed even on Monday. While most schools in the city had a 20-day Dasara vacation this year due to Sakala Janula Samme, parents were expecting the schools to reopen on October 10. A group of 40 parents staged a dharna at Kukatpally Crossroads asking the school managements to reopen their institutions. They also approached the Kukatpally police on Sunday asking them to convince the school managements to reopen schools. The miffed parents also sought police protection to run schools and colleges in their area. However, the T-JAC on Saturday had asked schools and other educational institutions to remain shut in support of the Telangana agitation.

The schools have already lost 40 working days out of 221 due to the Telangana agitation. If the schools do not reopen on Monday and suspend classes for another week, they will not be able to make up for the lost working days, officials said. Considering parents' request, the Recognised Schools managements' association has sent a petition to the T-JAC asking them to exempt schools from the agitation. The association has also asked students' unions in the region not to disturb classes in those institutions that are reopening on Monday. Officials of some state schools said that while many of them might not reopen on Monday they could do so later this week.

"We need to study the situation and take a call," said a management representative. However, several CBSE and ICSE schools in the city have decided to reopen on Monday in spite of the bandh call. Schools including Jubilee Hills Public School, P Obul Reddy School, Glendale Academy, Meridian and Chinmaya Vidyalaya will reopen as per schedule on Monday, officials said.
Osmania University, has decided to reopen their campus, constituent and affiliated colleges on Monday, after the Dasara vacation, officials said. However, some of the affiliated colleges said that they will function only if RTC buses start plying.

Open schools immediately, parents urge Kiran

The verdict is unanimous. Schools and colleges should open immediately. The career of students should not be jeopardised for the sake of the Telangana agitation.

This is the overwhelming view of parents who met under the auspices of the Greater Hyderabad School Parents Association here on Monday. Irate parents threatened to knock the doors of the court if the government failed to ensure the students' fundamental right to education.

Under heavy police bandobust the parents held a meeting at a function hall in Masab Tank to express their angst at the continued closure of the educational institutions in the city.

They urged the Telangana protagonists not to play with the career of students and allow the schools and colleges to function normally. In a resolution, the meeting appealed to the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to ensure that educational institutions are exempted from the ambit of bandhs and strikes.

According to Article 41 and 45 of the Constitution, it is the duty of the State government to ensure right to education. “Therefore, the Chief Minister is requested to ensure proper functioning of all educational institutions in the State and save the academic year of students,” the resolutions said.

It further asked the Chief Minister to provide safe passage to the students for the reaching the institutions through buses or their own conveyances. “We will meet the Chief Minister and convey our feelings,” said association president Liyaqath Hussain Razvi.

A large number of parents, including mothers, poured out their anger at the prolonged closure of schools. “How will the children cope with the lessons even if the management completes the syllabus. Is it not taxing on the young ones?” said Venkatalakshmi.

‘Political zulum'
Prof. Naveed, who works in an engineering college, termed it as ‘political zulum' on the common man. Another parent, G. Srinivas, was upset at the talk that loss of an academic year was nothing and said even a single day mattered. He wanted parents also to constitute a JAC to show their strength and put forth their demands.

Safi Quadri, executive member of the association, said students would be losers ultimately while Ravindra Tiwari said students would be at a disadvantage to appear for the competitive exams or to seek admission into foreign universities.

Some parents, who are also school correspondents, said continued closure of schools was putting managements to loss as they were obliged to pay salaries to the staff even though their institutions were closed.

October 10, 2011

Now, parents take excess fee war onto cyberspace, launch website

Oct 7, 2011, 03.03AM IST TNN | COIMBATORE
The simmering war between parents and school managements over the revised fee structure and refund of excess fee amount collected has now entered the cyberspace. The SBOA Parents' Welfare Association opened a web portal to highlight the discrepancies in the school fee structure on Thursday.

Apart from the fee issue, the portal is also being developed into a comprehensive website offering educational tips, online quizzes and also syllabus-related extra study materials that can be easily accessed for reference purposes.

"We wanted to ensure better coordination among our members. By creating a common platform, it will be easier for us to operate and keep everyone updated about the latest happenings," said R Manimohan, joint secretary, SBOA, Parents' Welfare Association.

The website, http://www.sboapwa.com/, bears a banner "Education for all and not for sale". It also has a detailed compilation of the parents' movement against excess fee collection and also the ongoing efforts to get the extra amount collected refunded to parents.

According to members of the Parents' Welfare Association, they were toying with the idea ever since they felt a strong need for better coordination amongst themselves so as to ensure that their efforts against relevant issues in the school education sector are addressed and tackled in a constructive manner . The site highlights the fact that the association have written to the school management on August 24 and October 2 seeking refund of excess fee collected in 2009-10.

"It is a comprehensive website and we want it to be a tool to aid the overall development of the children apart from their regular activities at school and home," said M Saravanan, joint secretary, SBOA, Parents' Welfare Association.

The site also has a flash news banner in which the latest development concerning the refund of excess fee amount and other major news related to the school education sector constantly flashing on the home page. The site has been designed and maintained by Janana Technologies Solutions, a city-based software firm.

According to the association members, the district unit of Students' Welfare Association of Parents (SWAP) have also expressed interest in putting up their activities on the online platform so as not to confine it to a single school alone.

The Coimbatore SWAP unit was primarily responsible for raising the issue of excess fee which had led to the formation of special fee determination committee by the state government.

School authorities and management representatives too welcomed the cyber initiative by parents to provide additional learning and recreational aid to children. But they claimed that as far as the school fee structure was concerned, it differs for individual schools.

"Even the government has agreed that if a school is providing additional facilities and teaching techniques, then it can collect fee in a fair manner from parents. Moreover, there is no compulsion for the parents to enrol their children in a particular school. They can always opt for a school with an agreeable fee structure," said R Visalakshi, president of Federation of Association of Private Schools, Coimbatore. 

October 9, 2011

Parents protest arbitrary fee hike in private schoools

New Delhi, October 09, 2011
Hundreds of people on Sunday held a demonstration outside Rajghat to protest "arbitary" fee hike by private schools in the national capital. The protest rally was organised by the All India Parents Association (AIPA) where the participants underlined the need to reform school education in the country.

The protesters demanded initiation of criminal proceedings against the 25 private school in the capital which were indicted by the CAG recently.

"The AIPA has also written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking an effective central law to check arbitrary fee hike in unaided private schools as well as for upgrading all government schools to the level of central schools," a statement from AIPA said.

In the letter, AIPA demanded a Central Law to check arbitrary fee hike in unaided private schools and upgrading of all government schools to the minimum level of central schools.

October 7, 2011


Friday, October 7, 2011

All India Parents Association (AIPA)
The AIPA is organizing an ‘Aam Aadmi Dharna’ to highlight the need for reform in School Education System

The Dharna will be held at RAJGHAT on October 09, 2011 from 10.00 AM to 1.00 PM, to demand:

1. Removal of disparities between various Government Schools and up-gradation of AllGovernment run schools all over the country to the minimum level of Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools).

2. Enactment of a Central Law to regulate the fees and other charges in unaided private schools all over the country.

3. Resolution by the State Assemblies in support of the above issues.

4. Initiation of criminal proceedings against the erring private school managements having been indicted by the CAG in its recent report in regard to 25 unaided private schools of Delhi.

What AIPA strives to Achieve
The AIPA and Private schools both realize that power of private  schools is derived from poor conditions in the Government schools. Falling standards in government schools push people towards private schools. In this kind of scenario on one hand where Private schools know that parents have no other choice, therefore they can exploit them. On the other hand, AIPA believes that salvation of children in all types of schools depends on improving government schools, and bringing about greater equity in quality of all categories of schools.
The objective of All India Parents Association (AIPA) is loud and clear - to work for the realization of the constitutional philosophy of equality, social justice and good quality education

About AIPA
All India Parents Association (AIPA) was formed out of the conviction that all children whether in Government schools or private schools, have a right to good education in environments where their rights are protected. If that does not happen, then parents who have entrusted their children to the system in good faith, can and should come together to support one another in ensuring a caring and responsive educational system. Wherever children’s and parents’ voices are heard, schools systems improve.

The Beginnings
In 1997, the unaided recognized private schools in Delhi on the pretext of Fifth Pay Commission recommendations increased fees from 40% to 400% which shocked the middle class whose wards were studying in these schools. For the first time in the history of India, the middle class came together and raised their voice against the arbitrary fee hike by the private schools. Consequently, an organization namely Delhi Abhivahak Mahasangh came into existence which took forward the case of the parents against their exploitation at the hands of the private schools. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed through Advocate Ashok Agarwal (National President AIPA) in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court highlighting the exorbitant, arbitrary and unjust fee hike by the private schools resulting in violation of the Right to Education of the children. The Hon’ble High Court in its Judgment dated 30.10.1999 rejected the arguments of the private schools and laid down parameters for determining justified fees.

During this case, it was strongly felt that one of the major cause of exploitation of the hapless parents by the private schools is that the standard of education in the Government schools has gone down tremendously and the exploitation at the hands of the private schools cannot be checked unless the standards of education in Government schools is improved to a satisfactory level.

The Achievements
Therefore in 1997 itself, another PIL highlighting the absence of basic amenities in the Government and Municipal schools in Delhi was filed in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. This petition was not only entertained but the Orders passed therein were monitored for more than 10 years by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. Thereafter many other PILs were filed in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court that resulted in to Regulation of Nursery Admission process, Admissions of EWS students in to the schools which have taken land on concessional rates from Government, Admission of Disable/ differently abled Students, Appointment of special teachers schools, Infrastructural facilities for Disable/ differently abled Students and Filling of vacancies of Teachers in Government/MCD Schools.

In 2008, once again the private schools not only in Delhi but all over the country increased fees arbitrarily on the pretext of Sixth Pay Commission. This time it had given rise to an agitation by the parents not only in Delhi but all over the country. The Delhi Government issued an order allowing unaided private schools to increase fee without first scrutinizing their accounts. Again a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed through Advocate Ashok Agarwal in 2009 in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court challenging the Delhi Governments arbitrary order. The Hon’ble High Court in its order dated 12-08-2011 upheld the contentions of the Parents and constituted a committee to audit the accounts of all the unaided private schools to see the justification of any Fee Hike. As a result of this PIL the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) for the first time exercised its statutory duty and audited the accounts of 25 unaided private schools in Delhi and in its report indicted 23 out of 25 schools for gross financial malpractices. With this rise of parents’ voices at an all India Level, the All India Parents Association came into being. Since then, the AIPA has undertaken several Dharnas,Rallies, Meetings, Seminars, etc. to highlight the issues relating to the Right to Education of all children.

How you can Help
The AIPA strongly feels that parents, students and teachers must unite together to achieve the ultimate goal of free and compulsory school education of good quality for all children.
While holding the Aam Aadmi Dharna at RAJGHAT on 9th October, 2011 between 10.00 AM to 1.00 PM, The AIPA also invites people at large and parents particularly to hold corresponding Dharnas in front of the State Assemblies on the same date and time to demand resolution from the Assemblies in support of the aforementioned issues and to send the same to the Central Government.

All India Parents Association (AIPA)
Agarwal Bhawan, G. T. Karnal Road, Tis Hazari, Delhi‐110 054
+91 9811101923, +91 9810133325

October 6, 2011


SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN organized by ALL INDIA PARENTS ASSOCIATION (AIPA) in coordination with SOCIAL JURIST on the occasion of AAM AADMI DHARNA at RAJGHAT DELHI on 09TH OCTOBER 2011 to highlight its following demands for the reforms in Education System.
1. Up-gradation of all Government Schools all over the country to the level of Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools).
2. Enactment of Central Law to regulate fees in unaided private schools
3. Resolutions by all State Assemblies in favour of the bringing Central law to Regulate Fees in Unaided Private Schools.
4. Initiation of criminal action against the all the unaided schools in Delhi having been indicted by the recent ‘CAG Report on top 25 unaided schools’.

ALL INDIA PARENTS ASSOCIATION (AIPA) planned to get more than one Lakh Signatures supporting these demands. If you support the above mentioned demands raised by the ALL INDIA PARENTS ASSOCIATION (AIPA) please carry this signature campaign to all corners of the country. You are requested to print a copy of the demands on a paper or a chart paper and collect as many signatures as possible and send them to Ashok Agarwal Ch.No. 478-479 Lawyers Chamber Western Wing Tis Hazaari Courts, Delhi-110054. Ph.9811101923.

School slaps ‘property tax’ on students, parents move court

New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Parents of children studying in a private school in east Delhi have moved the Delhi High Court challenging the institution’s decision to collect from them Rs.430 per month as ‘property tax’.

Justice Kailash Gambhir Monday issued notice to St. Lawrence Convent Senior Secondary School, the Delhi government and government auditor seeking their response on the issue by Nov 22.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has been questioned by the court for allegedly failing to audit the accounts of the school, as per its earlier order on scrutiny of finances of private schools.

The petitioners alleged that the school earlier levied on them SMS and maintenance charges.

‘The parents have been forced to pay Rs.171 as SMS charges, and Rs.1,050 as maintenance charges which are also not permissible in law,’ said the petition.
Petitioners’ advocate Ashok Agarwal said: ‘The school has arbitrarily, illegally and without any justification not only increased fee and other charges in the academic years, 2010-11 and 2011-12, but also forced hapless parents to pay on account of ‘property tax’ which is not permissible in law.’

‘The school has not only illegally increased the fee and other charges but has gone on to levy around Rs.430 per student towards ‘property tax’ in the fee slip for July-September 2011 which is impermissible in law,’ he said.

‘The school increased the fee in the middle of the session of 2010-11, without taking prior permission from the directorate of education of the Delhi government,’ said the petition.

‘The school in the academic year 2010-11 increased the tuition fee by 12 percent and in the academic year 2011-12 by another 40 percent without any justification,’ he said.

The petition said the court should direct the Delhi government and the CAG to audit the school’s accounts from 2008-09.