What will be the fate of schools in such a scenario?
There are no prizes for guessing what it will be. ‘Bad’.
Now, how ‘bad’ can it get?
This is where we need to brainstorm a bit.
How ‘bad’ can it get?
Are schools going to shut down in droves? I hear it said often.
In fact, nobody really knows how ‘bad’ this law is going to be. Simply because, nobody can fairly predictwhat lies in store in the months ahead. Still, let’s make some attempt to lay it down here:
The Supreme Court proceeds to dismiss all Writ Petitions. And, blame game begins everywhere on whodid what wrong. Everyone will begin to blame everyone else. And I will be blamed for talking a lot inmeetings and on mail and for doing little or nothing in Courts.
And your State Government will then begin its task:
Five days ago, a leading school in Mysore, a city about 160 kms from Bangalore, got in touch with me forthis problem
that school has a capacity of 150 students for its Lower Kindergarten. It had interviewed450 students and had rejected 300 and had enrolled 150 at its discretion. One parent who also runs alocal newspaper and whose rejected child was one of 300 children moved the authorities by claiming thatthe school had admitted 150 students by exercising its discretion. And that the school should have
favoured children primarily on the basis of the distance between the child’s residence and the school.
Further, the argument went that between children shortlisted solely on the basis of distance, nodiscretion was vested in management and that no interviews should have been held and that alladmission was to be based on a lottery system.
I will be forwarding that email should the school concerned consent to it.
Next, after having admitted 75% of the Management seats in Standard I and 100% of the Managementseats for Standards I to VIII (for the first year of implementation of RTE) on a lottery basis, theGovernment should be satisfied that you did conduct a random method for selection and that you did notcheat on that lottery.
Further, the Government should determine the cost of educating a child in a Government school first.Now, what is the accounting method that is acceptable for this purpose? In India, the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of India hasn’t issued suitable guidelines to determine ‘what is the most
appropriate accounting standard that should be adopted when drawing the books of accounts of a
Government run educational institution?’ So, considerable accounting freedom exists in this regard.
What if, the Government determines that rather than adopting one of five or eight different options toarrive at the cost of educating a child at a Government school, it could simply pass a law to say that thecost shall be determined by it at its sole discretion and that any such cost so determined by it shall bedeemed to constitute the fair cost of educating a child enrolled in a Government school. In fact,Governments routinely decide upon an arbitrary rate amongst several rates and pass a law to deem suchrate as its official rate. And Courts do not generally intervene in such issues.