Monday, February 8, 2010

A Class Divide - Students unable to pay Air-Conditioned facility charges are not entitled to Air-Conditioned Facility – Unaided School rules


To 08.02.2010

Smt. Sheila Dixshit,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi,
Delhi Secretariat,
I.P.Estate, New Delhi-110002

Sub: A Class Divide - Students unable to pay Air-Conditioned facility charges are not entitled to Air-Conditioned Facility – Unaided School rules

My Dear Chief Minister,

How long the Government of GNCT of Delhi would continue to be a mute spectator to the exploitation of parents/students at the hands of greedy managements of the unaided private schools in Delhi? It is very unfortunate that the Government has utterly failed to check menace of commercialization of education in private schools despite directives by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court and the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Such failure on the part of the Government is now leading to catastrophic consequences in the form of further class divide amongst the students in school contrary to the constitutional philosophy of equality and social justice in education.

Despite strong protests from the parents and the teachers, a fee-charging private school in the India’s capital, namely, Rukmini Devi Public School, Pitampura, Delhi-110034 (Phone 27314235) has gone to the extreme when it decided to provide Air-Conditioned Facility as an option facility and the same would be provided to those students whose parents give consent for the same on payment of Rs.400/- per student per month towards Air-Conditioned facility charges. In other words, students who are unable to pay Air-Conditioned facility charges would be devoid of the same. It is submitted that such an act on the part of the school is leading to a class divide amongst the students on the basis of their parents’ economic status. It is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory, anti-child and tantamount to commercialization of education.

It is submitted that the school has a calculated horrible and illegal design behind such a move; “Rich Come Poor Go”. It is interesting to note that the school is situated on the public land allotted to it by the Delhi Development Authority on a throw away prices with the condition that the school would serve the educational needs of all the children of the locality. The school is also obliged to admit children belonging to the economically weaker sections to the extent of 20% and to grant them free-ship. It is submitted that the school by adopting such a class divide practice is breaching the very conditions of allotment of public land. Five star cultures being resorted by the school is unacceptable.

It is submitted that the said move on the part of the school besides thrusting very huge unwarranted additional financial burden on the already financial-crisis-facing parents is also unnecessary for the following amongst other reasons:

a) The Air Conditioning facility shall hamper the extra-curricular activities of the students like games, play, physical exercises & yoga etc. which are quite essential to their physical growth;
b) That such indoor facility providing on purely temporarily basis shall not be favorable to the health of students under the extreme climatic conditions (i.e. hot and cold weathers) as prevails in this city;
c) It shall also create laziness in the minds of the students that will leads to slow educational activities;
d) It will generate alarming situations of global warming in our atmosphere & will also create a disastrous situation of energy crises;
e) No one should compromise with one’s health & also should not compromise with over exploitation of the resources.

The school has estimated a tentative expenditure to the tune of Rs.2.60 crores on making 54 classrooms and 9 corridors as air-conditioned. It is submitted that in terms of the decision dated 30.10.1998 of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in case of Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, such expenditure cannot be levied towards school fees.

The parents have lodged a complaint dated 19.01.2010 with the Deputy Director of Education, North-West, Delhi but till date no action has been taken against the school.

It is, therefore, requested that necessary action may kindly be taken in this matter on urgent basis directing the school to desist itself from the aforesaid move of class divide by resorting to five star cultures of air-conditioning the class-rooms and the corridor of the schools and unnecessary burdening the parents with additional financial burden of Rs.400/- per student per month.

With regards,

Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA

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