Delhi State Conference for Budget Private Schools

Event Date: 
Wednesday, 28 September, 2016
Event Venue: 
Ghalib Auditorium
New Delhi

Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister, Mr Manish Sisodia showed complete solidarity with a large gathering of 500 schools congregated at the ‘State Conference for Budget Private Schools’ agreeing that the existing land norms are creating huge problems for the recognition of budget private schools. To solve this problem, he also agreed that number of rooms should be basis of recognition rather than requirement of a certain area of land. The conference was organized by National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), a national association of budget private schools, in collaboration with Delhi Independent Schools Alliance (DISA) and Coordination Committee of Public Schools (CCPS) in the capital.

The CM also agreed on the proposal to form a policy review committee comprising of educationists, academicians and experienced teachers to collaboratively work on the issues faced by the budget private schools. The conference was attended by a huge gathering of small school owners who raised their problems of running schools in Delhi. The minister acknowledged the problems faced and promised that all possible measures to be ensured for the betterment of the education sector. The minister was handed a list of 100 budget private schools and their 'data' to further analyse and take appropriate policy reform measures.

NISA representatives presented a charter of their demands highlighting the following problem areas:

  1. Problem Area: Opening a School

    Demand:
    Introduce a ‘Single Window Clearance’ system that would allow entrepreneurs to gain all permissions in a time bound manner and help build more schools to provide quality education.
     
  2. Problem Area: Recognition to Unrecognized Schools

    Demand:
     All the unrecognized schools operational for more than 3 to 5 years be given a chance to prove that they are required in their respective communities and schools should be given deemed recognition on the basis of their learning outcomes.
     
  3. Problem Area: Challenges in implementing Section 12 (1) (C) - 25% Reservation

    Demand:
     To extend more support in implementing this provision, a tie-up can be done between government schools and budget private schools. BPS be made partners in this scheme and can provide a list of our schools that would be open to admitting these students at the start of every new academic session. (Apr-Jul). The tried and tested system of School Vouchers may be opted for bringing ease to the EWS admissions process each year.
     
  4. Problem Area: Recognition for extending up to 10th standard in the same built up area (Land norms relaxation)

    Demand:
    The recognition process must consider the built up area (floor wise) for granting recognition up to elementary level or land norms relaxation be allowed to a all the primary schools of Delhi for the total success of RTE Act 2009.

    Floor Wise Area Calculation: If a school’s built- up area is around 300 square yards with a four-storied building then in that case the Directorate of Education (DoE) must consider the built up area as 1200 square yards and not 300 square yards. It will be interesting to note that even DDA also sells its residential flats and commercial flats on these very basis because there is paucity of land in Delhi. The DoE, we suggest, must adopt this policy to stop the injustice that is being meted out to all such students who are studying in Private unaided schools recognized till grade 5 or 8. If this is implemented, primary and secondary level schools will get upgradation to the next level which will beneficial to a large number of students.
     
  5. Problem Area: Teacher Salary and Teacher Appointment: Relaxation in Delhi Education Act 1973, Section 10 (1)

    Demand:
    Autonomy should be given to the BPS so they could decide whether they wish to hire contract teachers, volunteers and schools and teachers should be free to negotiate and fix their salary.
     
  6. Problem Area: Commercial Charges

    Demand:
    As a not for profit organization, schools should not be charged at commercial/ industrial rate for facilities and amenities. In fact, schools should be given a subsidy for the same.

    Water: Service should be subsidized, same as for unauthorized colony. The students studying in these schools are from unauthorized colonies and charging for water will be a burden on these poor children. The schools should be exempted from development charges as it escalates the cost of education and Budget Private Schools cannot afford to pay such a huge amount towards conversion of land use charges.

    Electricity: Service should also be subsidized on the lines of water service. Here domestic charges/institutional charges or different consumption slabs should be offered. This will help schools save on their precious resources and divert it to improving their overall quality. Recently the Uttar Pradesh government changed the electricity charges from commercial to domestic giving relief to the BPS of the state.

    Property tax: Likewise, the BPS should be exempted from paying property tax and instead be asked to pay on domestic charge basis.
     
  7. Problem Area: Representation of Budget Private Schools in Policy Regulatory Committee

    Demand:
    It is about time to declare the Budget Private Schools as a separate category within the private schools education sector and its representation should be an indispensable part of the Policy Regulatory Committee.
     
  8. Problem Area: Lack of Financial Support

    Demand:
    The Government create a School Investment Corporation/School Financial help corporation to attract investment to the BPS sector. A good model to replicate could be the Punjab Education Foundation of Pakistan.