AAP sets up anti-donation hotline, plans 200 schools, fee cut next

Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday announced a series of steps to "change the city's school education system and make it more transparent", from announcing a helpline to setting up 150-200 new schools by the end of next year.

Next on the minister's agenda is cracking down on private schools charging exorbitant fees.

Sisodia said a helpline would be set up, which will answer queries of parents related to the nursery admission process. "To make the admission process more parent-friendly, we will start the new helpline in my office. It won't be like any other helpline because I will directly monitor it. So, parents can reach out to me directly in case they face any harassment from schools or are being asked to give donations," he said.

The helpline will become operational by January 12 and will be manned by officials selected by the minister.

In another step, Sisodia said the government will open 150-200 schools in the capital within a year. "This was at the top of our agenda and I have already held meetings with the stakeholders. Some files have been stuck for years and I have instructed officials to fast-track them. Within 15 days, tenders will be awarded so that by the end of next year, we will have at least 150-200 new schools in Delhi," he said.

Saying that education was not a profit-making enterprise, Sisodia said cracking down on private schools charging exorbitant fees was next on his agenda. He said he would make the fee structure more transparent.

"Education is not a profit-making sector. We will create a system where everything is transparent and online. Private schools will be instructed to display the fee break-up online and on notice boards, along with the facilities on offer at the schools, so parents know what they are paying for and can also do a comparison of different schools in an area. In case they demand donations from parents directly or indirectly, we will devise mechanisms to punish the schools," he said.

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