From our Special Correspondent
SILCHAR, Jan 7: All India Democratic Students’ Organization (AIDSO), Cachar district committee, has expressed its serious concern at the way various educational institutions across the district have been realizing fees from the students in flagrant violation of all the standing rules and regulations of the education department. In a memorandum submitted to the additional Deputy commissioner, S K Das, in the absence of the inspector of schools, Cachar circle, today, the student body while bitterly criticizing the ‘arbitrary and whimsical’ manner of school authorities has cautioned if the decision to penalize students is not taken back, it will go for long drawn agitation.
Ashukanti Singh, secretary of the AIDSO, has drawn the attention of the IS to the Right to Education Act of 2009 which speaks of compulsory free education for all the students in the age group of 6 to 14 years. To realize fees of any kind from the students is therefore not only ‘unjustified’ but also ‘illegal’. What is surprising is that the fees so realized are without furnishing any receipt against them. Parents and guardians along with their students have failed to get redressal of their grievances from the school authorities. It appears, Singh noted, school managements have taken liberty with the ‘Right to Education Act’.
The memorandum further takes exception to the prevailing practice in schools to charge fees for the publication of magazine years after years which never sees the light of the day. It has raised the relevant question about the utilization of money so collected from students which is even not known to them even. Still surprising and shocking, the fees for magazine varies from school to school.
Despite charging fees from students on various counts, the school management never cares for providing even basic facility of drinking water to the students in several educational institutions. The memorandum has also raised the issue of mark-sheets issued to students after their final examinations which in most cases are full of errors and mistakes which only expose the callous and indifferent attitude of the heads of the centres of education as well as the teachers concerned. Some schools do not have the requisite teacher-taught ratio due to the vacant posts of teachers. It has demanded immediate steps for filling up the vacant posts in the interest of academic atmosphere in schools.
The district administration and the inspector of schools, Cachar circle, have been pressed to ensure that no fees of any kind and on any account be charged from the students studying from the primary stage to class VIII. All the expenses in respect of education and maintenance of schools have to be borne by the State government. For realizing any fees from students studying beyond class VIII, necessary receipts against them should be provided to them. Importance is to be given to have provision of all the basic facilities and materials including safe drinking water in the schools, besides issuance of error free mark-sheets.