Like every other country across the globe, India too follows the compulsory system of institutional schooling, and with the proliferation of schools and educational institutions in the country, it is imperative that these establishments effectively follow the decorum of the teaching-learning mechanism.
As an adult, I can confidently say that the guidance of the teachers and academicians I came into contact with during my formative years, shaped my cognisance, gave me life lessons and heightened my social awareness. I am sure that many would feel the same.
However, over the years, many ‘affiliated’ institutions have been straying away from the standards set by central education bodies, and these violations include illegal deviations from the guidelines, corporal punishments and even, irrational extortion of fees from students.
In order to crack down on educational institutions indulging in unfair practices, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is now showing no leniency. It has been slapping heavy fines following inspections and has even gone on to shut down such schools and institutions.
In Kollam, following a surprise inspection led by Mr Tarun Kumar, the CBSE Regional Officer, on Friday, a school was imposed a fine of ₹2 lakh for its poor infrastructure, unsafe classrooms and a slew of other unjust practices.
The fine amount is reportedly the highest ever in the country.
In a clear violation of CBSE guidelines, it was discovered that there were an additional 45 students being taught in classes 10 and 12, but none of them were registered students of the school. Additionally, students from other unaffiliated branches of the school were illegally included in its campus.
“The school was running a unit of a private coaching centre within the campus. One tutor was even found taking coaching classes for entrance exams during school hours,” said a source to The New Indian Express.
The inspectors also found that the school was selling clothes and books via its staffers, at a price which was higher than what was printed. In addition to all this, the school lacked proper infrastructure—inadequate toilet facilities, poorly lit classrooms, and a dysfunctional computer lab in the primary section were just a few of the many issues.
Another school in Kollam was slapped with a fine of ₹50,000 for charging ₹150 to issue a transfer certificate and collecting a development fee from the students for the school society. Both the practices are illegal under the CBSE norms.
Currently, both institutions have been served notices by the CBSE regional office along with a 10-day period to come up with an explanation for these unruly and illegal practices. If there is no response, there is a possibility that the CBSE will severe its affiliation with both the schools.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)