Indian Campus

Jharkhand bill to regulate private schools fee referred to select committee

Jharkhand Education Tribunal Bill 2017: On Thursday, the state government had introduced Jharkhand Education Tribunal (Amendment) Bill-2017 making certain provisions for regulating matters.

Jharkhand Education Tribunal Bill 2017:The four-day winter session of the Jharkhand Assembly has been set abuzz after an amendment, suggested by a Congress MLA, pertaining to a bill related to regulation of school fee in the state was supported by the ruling party MLAs. While the bill has been referred to the select committee, the main opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morchaon Friday, demanded that the bill should be deemed to have been defeated and, accordingly, the government should withdraw the same.

The Speaker, however, rejected the contention.

On Thursday, the state government had introduced Jharkhand Education Tribunal (Amendment) Bill-2017 making certain provisions for regulating matters like an increase in the school fees, allowing books and copies to be sold by the school and demanding development charge every year.

Congress MLA from Jarmundi, Badal Patralekh, moved four amendments to the proposed bill. These were:

— Upper limit of increasing fee annually be changed from not more than 10 per cent (as proposed) to a specific amount not exceeding Rs 300

— MLAs be allowed in district-level school committees (the proposed bill provided for MLAs not being a part of such committee)

— The norm (as proposed) for not allowing schools to sell books and stationery to students be reviewed as it was contrary to the CBSE guidelines

—  The practice of not taking admission of own students after class 10 be stopped (the bill was silent was on this aspect).

When the Speaker took up the specific amendments suggested by Patralekh, all got rejected with voice vote. But when the amendment pertaining to MLAs being allowed to be part of the school committees was taken up, most of the members including that of ruling Party refused to reject it with voice vote. The Speaker, Dinesh Oraon, then referred the entire bill to the select committee, asking it to submit the report within 15 days.

Patralekh said, “My objection was based on practical difficulties that would have cropped up if the bill was passed as it is. MLAs are public representatives and they ought to be on these committees to keep a control. Otherwise, bureaucrats would run things in any manner they like. The increase in fees should be in terms of specific amount, as a 10 per cent cap on increasing fee could mean an increase of Rs 100 to Rs 1,000. As it turned out, almost the entire House was with me.”

Demand to investigate the proceedings’ video footage

On Friday, JMM acting chief and leader of opposition Hemant Soren demanded that the bill be considered to have been defeated.

The video footage of the proceedings should be investigated. It would become clear that the bill was actually defeated and, therefore, the government should withdraw it, he said in the House. However, Speaker Oraon said that once a ruling had been given on the issue, there was no need for bringing it up again before it was taken up by the select committee.

BJP Chief Whip Radha Krishna Kishore said, “There was no support of the ruling party for the Congress MLA suggestion. But there was some confusion. The demand by the Leader of Opposition to consider it defeated was strange because there was no voting on it.”

Also, Education Minister Neera Yadav told the House that the provision of not having MLAs on the district level school committees was made because it was observed that they did not find time to attend the meetings of these committees.