Friday, 9 August 2013

What Ails the Government Aided Schools of New Delhi ? Part II


In an article written on similar lines many years ago I  highlighted some of the problems that afflicted Government Aided Schools in New Delhi such as delayed grant of salaries to employees. Salaries were often delayed by fifteen days, and sometimes even a whole month! Now at least that problem has been addressed by the Directorate of Education. Unfortunately problems continue to plague Government Aided Schools of Delhi, because it seems as if the Directorates of Education continue to give these schools less importance than Government schools when it comes to releasing Pension funds, Earned leave encashment and other funds due to the employee.
The case in point relates to a case where an employee who had served a Government Aided school in Roop Nagar, New Delhi for more than seventeen years and thereafter resigning from his post of a Post Graduate teacher in English on March 31st 2011 is yet to get his pension, Earned leave payment, gratuity, and arrears relating to a pay fixation that should have been done many years back. The only fund that this employee has received till date is his provident fund! When contacted, the school authorities resorted to a litany of excuses starting at first with the claim that the employee didn’t deserve to get his pension since he had resigned before completing twenty years of service.Then the excuse was that the file had been sent to the Directorate of Education of Zone Seven which is located in Lucknow Road, New Delhi. The complaint made by the Principal of the school was that the Directorate of Education was deliberately withholding the employees file as they wanted a bribe from the employee and that since they were understaffed, nothing could be done. When the employee contacted the Management and put forth his case before them, there was no reply! Repeated queries by E-Mail, and even written representations have simply fallen on deaf ears. It has been more than two years since the employee left his job and all he has received is his provident fund whereas, as per rules he deserved to get his gratuity, pay fixation arrears, and his pension with arrears for a whole two years!
What ails Government Aided schools in New Delhi is that their is a blurring of rules for  them. What is required is a separate Directorate of Education for them, and a different act branch which can look into problems related to timely disbursal of Pension funds, gratuity, and other arrears that may be due. The lack of accountability of responsibility for disbursing of funds and other matters is affecting the credibility of Government Aided schools of New Delhi. While some officers of the Directorate of Education take active interest in the appointment of teachers in Government Aided Schools, understandably because of the funds involved in buying the post, the same officers ignore matters relating to the release of pension funds and gratuity of employees of Government Aided Schools. It appears strange how  avidly the Directorates of Education demand detailed lists of employees , seniority rosters and lists of vacancies in Aided Schools.
This partnership between Managements of Government Aided Schools of New Delhi and their Government counterparts in the Directorates of Education is a rather unequal and lop-sided partnership with either partner ready to blame the other for lapses that can prove costly. In many cases it is the employee who suffers from this tussle between Managements and Directorates. While Principals wash their hands off their responsibilities of giving their employees a golden handshake with timely disbursal of Pension Funds, Directorates claim that Aided Schools don’t come under their jurisdiction since they have different rules and regulations. So called “Babus” feign ignorance about the working of Government Aided schools often sending the aggrieved employee on a wild goose chase to the Act Branch in the Old Secretariat in Civil Lines.
Now these is talk about a private-public partnership in forming new schools in the capital and other areas. However we label them, schools run under the private-public partnership will be similar in working as the Aided Schools of Delhi. Can we say that it is new wine in old bottles. It is high time the authorities looked into the problems affecting Government Aided Schools in New Delhi before even thinking of launching these new schools under the Private-Public Partnership scheme. Setting up of a specific directorate of education for such school including Aided Schools, and the formation of an improved document of rules and  acts, and fixing of specific responsibilities will go a long way in improving employee satisfaction. As for the employee who has not received his pension, well the name will be revealed shortly along with the name of the School!

Please feel free to check out the link of an earlier article written by me :  
http://rodrickwrites.blogspot.in/2009/06/whatevers-matter-with-aided-schools.html

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