The most common forms of education result from years of schooling that incorporates studies of a variety of subjects. Imparting of education is an important function of the State. Both compulsory School attendance laws and the mounting expenditure for education demonstrate a recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society which is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities. It is the very foundation of good citizenship and is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment.
Earlier ‘Education’ was in the State List, but now it is in the concurrent list as a result of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976. [Vide Entry 25 of List III (concurrent list) of Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India].
In some aspects, the Delhi School Education Act, laying down certain restrictions, has proved to be a hurdle even for the managements of private and unaided schools. There is acute shortage of good schools but the entrepreneurs shudder to open new schools because of persistent interference by the Authorities under the Act. Even for trivial and bona fide violations, the Authorities take perverted pleasure in issuing notices as to why recognition should not be withdrawn. Lack of freedom for revising fee structure is another hurdle for the established schools. The main source of income for unaided schools is from the fees. Imparting of quality education engaging and retaining talented teachers is imperative but there are strict restrictions for enhancing fee of the students. There are other expenses like contributions for ESI and provident fund (wage cap likely to increase from Rs. 6,500 to Rs. 15,000 per month) This discourages the managements of schools to expand their activities in this direction.
The Delhi School Education Act, 1973 was enacted to provide better organization and development of school education in the Union Territory of Delhi. The said Act came into force from 31st December, 1973. Every statute contains some ambiguities and judicial interpretations which are necessary to clarify the differences and confusions.
There have been some cases of the Supreme Court and the High Courts but unfortunately they are scattered and reported in different Reporters whereas some cases have not even been reported. The managers of the schools and the employees as well as the advocates were facing difficulty in finding out the judgments to apply the same whenever any question for interpretation and application of the appropriate ruling arose.
Except in payment and fixation of scales and pay and allowances etc. as provided by section 10 of the Delhi School Education Act, the minority schools Delhi have achieved in the court cases pertaining to retirement age and appointing of Disciplinary Committee for holding of enquiries against delinquent employees. Absorption of surplus schools, protection of fundamental rights under Constitution of India despite getting aid, no obliged for filling up posts from the schedule cast and schedule tribe candidates.
Keeping the above in view, we haves made an attempt to consolidate the important cases, and have given the ratio under the appropriate heads in order to enable the readers to find out apt ratio to understand the particular provision in true perspective.
Delhi can take credit about imparting of quality education. Gone are the days when the parents in Delhi would send their children at far off places for school education. It is now other way round. Those who are not residing in Delhi have been sending their children to study in Delhi schools. Unlike all States, Delhi has Education Act of 1973 to provide for better organization and development of school education.
Of late, private (unaided) schools which are popularly known as public schools are being targeted like punching bags. Far-fetched allegations are levelled against them to malign their image. Even those who do not have shred of information about the School Management severely criticise and ridicule them mostly for the sake of the cheap publicity and popularity. With the help of supportive media, pliable politicians and also due to the activism of judiciary, to some extent, unscrupulous persons and publicity seekers have vitiated the atmosphere against the private schools.
We are of the firm belief that role of the government in the education should be minimal. It should be confined to regulating the examination system and not the modalities about functioning of the schools imparting quality and excellent education. The Government should be a facilitator for imparting of quality education and not the controller since the interference by the Government is a huge deterrent in functioning of the private unaided schools. There have been so disturbing news and adverse scenario about functioning of the private schools that even seasoned and level headed persons shudder to open new schools or expand the existing schools. One must know that in context with Delhi School Education Act, 1973, the expression ‘development of education’ is a broad term. There is no reason as to why the said right would be limited, regulated or curtailed in absence of any provisions in the Act or the rules framed thereunder. When the law permits utilization of surplus fund of an institution for setting up another institution, the Courts should not come in their way from doing so.