GUWAHATI, March 31 � The State government today said that it is contemplating bringing a special Act to keep a strict tab on private schools following charges that such institutions are charging exorbitant fees from students and not giving proper salary and other benefits to teachers and other employees.
Replying to a discussion during the Question Hour, Education Minister Sarat Barkotoky said that many private schools are not following rules regarding land and building norms, safety, fees structure and salary and other benefits of teachers, among others.
�We will fix the problem... I will discuss the issue with the Chief Minister and frame another set of rules. We will try to control them by enacting a special Act,� Barkotoky said.
He said that authorities of many such schools do not even respond to any communication by the Ministers.
He said that in Guwahati 16 such schools have been served notices for charging exorbitant fees from students.
�They charge high fees and act arbitrarily. They do not provide minimum job security to teachers,� said the Minister.
In his written reply to a question by AGP MLA Keshab Mahanta, Barkotoky said that currently there are 1,167 private schools in Assam, excluding play schools, and 420 private junior colleges.
The State government permits a private education institute to start operations if it has its own land or land with at least a 20-year lease and does not allow to operate from a rented accommodation.
Barkotoky said that to get permission a private institute has to fulfill the norms under The Assam Non-Government Educational Institution (Regulation and Management) Act 2006 and Rule 2007. In case of an elementary educational institution, permission has to be obtained under the RTE Act 2009.
He, however, said there is no direction in these Acts and Rules about fees structure and salaries of teachers, but there are some directions from the Supreme Court regarding controlling the private institutes. In this regard, Deputy Commissioners of districts take steps for their implementation.
Earlier, AGP�s Mahanta said that many private educational institutes operate as industry and called for strict implementation of rules.
Participating in the discussion, Congress MLA Bhupen Kumar Borah suggested reserving a percentage of seats in private schools for meritorious students from BPL families with fees at par with government schools.
Barkotoky said he would look into the matter.