Teachers expose Lucknow schools racket

July 26th, 2011 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, July 26 (IANS) An Uttar Pradesh teachers association has alleged a nexus between at least 200 authorised and illegal private schools in Lucknow that could push thousands of students towards a dark future.

“By concealing their status, the unrecognised, illegal schools first enrol students. As the illegal schools are aware that their students will not be allowed to register for board examinations, they later transfer their students to authorised schools as part of a deal,” R.P. Mishra, state president of the Madhayamik Shikshak Sangh (MSS), told IANS.

“The illegal schools inform the students about their status just before the board exams. As a result, students have no option other than to act on the directions of their school authorities,” he added.

Over 200 schools - authorised and illegal - in Lucknow have come under the scanner following the report prepared this week by seven teams of the Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh (MSS), a state-level body of teachers.

The report, a copy of which is with IANS, has been handed over to the District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) Ganesh Kumar.

“During the entire admission-to-transfer process, the students are compelled to shell out a hefty sum for registering themselves for Class 10 and 12 board examinations, and the profit is pocketed by both the illegal and authorised institutions,” said Mishra.

According to the report, by duping thousands of students, the 200 odd schools are estimated to generate a total of Rs.1 crore annually.

“We would shortly come up with the exact strength of students enrolled with the dubious institutions and other details about the illegal business. Our ongoing exercise must have been performed by officials of the education department. But owing to their lethargic attitude, we ourselves decided to cleanse the education system,” said Mishra.

“There could be several such schools in others parts of the city. If such is the condition in the state capital, you can imagine the situation in far-flung areas of other districts of Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

According to MSS officials, the problem is not just about the illegal business, it’s also about playing with the future of students.

“Such dubious institutions are concerned about the future of the students. For them, education means business. Students studying at these institutions are not able to clear their basic concepts and therefore they normally not only perform poor in board exams but also lack traits to crack competitive exams,” said Anil Sharma, another MSS official.

Of the 200 odd dubious institutions mentioned in the MSS report, there is a large number that has been permitted to run only primary classes (Class 1-5) but operate Class 10 and Class 12 as well.

“Without adequate resources and qualified teachers, several schools are taking students towards a dark future,” said A.K. Awasthi, another MSS officebearer.

MSS alleged that such dubious institutions were functioning because of the patronage of some officials of the education department.

“Such educational institutions have not started functioning overnight. There are several institutions that have been operating for over five years, still no action has been taken against them,” said Awasthi.

“If we teachers can find dubious institutions, why cannot they be spotted by education department officials…We demand that the state government initiate a thorough inquiry on the basis of our report and lodge an FIR against all such educational institutions,” he said.

When certain points of the MSS report were brought to the notice of DIOS Ganesh Kumar, he told IANS, “The matter is serious. We will definitely initiate a thorough inquiry. I have already met MSS officebearers in this regard.”

Kumar had no answer when asked why such dubious institutions were not hauled up by the education department officials, who claim to carry out regular drives against unrecognised schools.

(Asit Srivastava can be contacted at asit.s@ians.in)

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