Two schools fined Rs 114-crore

Chhattisgarh schools

Accusing two private schools of charging capitation fee from students and violating the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Durg district administration has imposed a fine of over Rs 114 crore on them.

According to Section 13 (1) and (2) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, if a school is charging capitation fee, a penalty of up to 10 times the amount can be imposed on the institution.

An inquiry team set up by the Durg administration had found that Krishna Public School, Bhilai, had charged Rs 8.18 crore as capitation fee from students in 2010-11, while MGM Public School had charged Rs 3.24 crore.

Subsequently, District Education Officer B L Kurre sent a notice to both schools on Tuesday, asking them to deposit the fine and respond within five days.

While Krishna Public School has been asked to pay over Rs 80 crore, MGM School will have to deposit over Rs 30 crore — 10 times the amount they charged as capitation fee.

"We checked their audit reports, bank accounts and balance sheets and found that they are not following many rules. They charge fee under one account, but use it for another. Their fund management is dubious. We had warned them earlier, but they persisted with their ways. We had to send them notice," Kurre told The Indian Express.

KPS Principal Anand Tripathi said: "I am yet to receive the notice. Hence, I do not know how they have calculated the amount. But I can say that it's all baseless. Whatever computation they used, we never charged the amount mentioned."

The move has come nearly two months after the Chhattisgarh government issued a notice to all private schools in the state asking them to furnish details if they are running on "no profit, no loss basis". The April 13 circular signed by Secretary, School Education, K R Pisda said that if the schools did not produce the details "they will be issued showcause notices and their recognition cancelled". The circular noted that "private institutions in the state are being run in a commercial manner and arbitrary amount is charged in the name of tuition fee, uniforms, books and other activities... education should not be operated as business but charity... institutes are given recognition only on the condition that they will operate on the principles of no profit, no loss".

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