NEW DELHI: The government will take over 449 private schools in the national capital Delhi if they fail to refund "extra fees" charged from students within two weeks, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday. The government's takeover threat, described by the Chief Minister as an effort to "discipline" schools accused of having overcharged students for years, gives the schools two weeks to get their act together.
- 449 private schools told to refund extra fees or face government takeover
- Delhi Chief Minister says these schools need to be disciplined
- Schools had attributed hike in fees to higher salaries to teachers
Government officials said the 449 private schools that face action include some of the capital's best known schools. But these schools had disproportionately hiked schools fees after teachers were given a pay hike on the recommendations of the sixth pay commission.
A committee headed by retired high court judge Anil Dev Singh that examined the extent of the hike, however, found many schools had exaggerated the pay-out due to salary and overcharged students.
"We're not against private schools, there is no witch hunting. We are appealing to these 449 schools to implement the committee's recommendations and give back the extra fees," Mr Kejriwal said at a media briefing on Friday.
With his deputy and education minister Manish Sisodia by his side, this was the chief minister's first Press conference after the Aam Aadmi Party's crushing defeat in the municipal elections nearly four months ago. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sacked water minister Kapil Mishra soon after, prompting the suspended lawmaker of incessantly attacking the Chief Minister and his team.
Mr Sisodia said show cause notices had been sent to the schools four days ago with a deadline to respond within two weeks. "The schools will not be allowed to loot students like they used to do under previous governments due to political collusion," the Deputy Chief Minister said, according to IANS.
Mr Kejriwal said the government private schools an integral wing of the state's education system. "I hope we don't have to take over. Today, we intend to send out a message to the managements of those schools to implement the recommendations," he said.