Nagpur: The beginning of new academic session in schools has brought forth plethora of problems being faced by the parents, thanks to the Deputy Director of Education Anil Pardhi who is deliberately sleeping on extremism being done by many schools of repute. Right from charging exorbitant fee without approval to selling books at school counters despite ban, the schools in Nagpur have gone a step ahead in taking advantage of lackadaisical attitude of Pardhi. Sources informed that Pardhi has reportedly connived with top school managements to let them away while the parents have been crying foul.
Now in the latest development, an organization of school stationary sellers has lodged a complaint against deputy director of education in Nagpur Anil Pardhi for failure to act against schools that are allegedly forcing parents to purchase books and uniforms from particular shops thereby increasing financial burden on them.
In its complaint to school education minister Vinod Tawde, Shaikshanik Sahitya Vikreta Sanghatana (SSVS) accused the director of non-professional behaviour and misuse of power. He was also charged with abusing his powers and promoting commercial practices in schools. Its copies were forwarded to MLA Nago Ganar, State Education Department principal secretary Nand Kumar, Sports Department and Pune-based School Education director.
SSVS attached circulars for some prominent city schools — St Xaviers, St Vincent Palloti, Tuli Public, St Joseph Convent, JN Tata Parsi, and IQRA International. All these allegedly asked the parents to purchase uniform and stationary from fixed vendors.
Terming these allegations “baseless”, Pardhi accused the complainants of acting on behalf of vested interests. He said notices were issued to school found flouting norms. “We had asked CBSE schools to supply NCERT books, which are available online and they agreed to it. We enquired about their allegations and found out that big schools were providing option to parents. They were not compelling them to purchase from particular bookstore or cloth store.”
The director clarified that unless they received specific complaints from students or parents, they could not act against the schools. “Some lesser known schools may be indulging in such activities but parents need to complain with our office. We will not hesitate to take stringent action,” he said.
He accused SVSS of resorting to such pressure tactics as they were unable to sell their stationary and uniforms.
Requesting the state government to act on its own resolution of June 11, 2004, and CBSE’s circular of April 19 this year, SVSS president Vijay Kumar Jain, warned that if it failed to act, they would knock judiciary’s doors for exposing alleged nexus between, schools, private vendors and Education Department officials.
“Schools are meant to provide education and their priority should be welfare of students. But they are exploiting the parents. Nagpur education board is also a part of this nexus it seems, as they’ve not taken any measures to curb the practices,” Jain said.
Jain and his colleagues had earlier lodged a complaint against Pardhi with collector Sachin Surve but after failing to get response, they approached education minister.
CBSE deputy secretary K Srinivasan recently issued notices to schools cautioning them against selling textbooks, notebooks, and uniforms. It stated that the schools shouldn’t coerce parents to buy from fixed retailers. It also added that a committee had been constituted to make checks on schools’ financial data and files and any tampering would not be entertained. Accordingly, Pardhi on April 24 issued a notice to all schools in the region, stating that they all must follow board’s guidelines.
Remove Anil Pardhi, demand parents
A couple of parents who had previously approached Pardhi with the woes have unanimously voiced negation towards Deputy Director of Education Anil Pardhi who had deliberately turned ignorant and failed to act. One of the parents recalled Pardhi saying, “Main kya kar sakta hoon isme, mera kaam tha letter bhejna wo maine kar diya, ab wo manmani kar rahe hain to isme kis kis school ko bolne jayenge. Sabhi aise hi hain.”
Nagpur Today View
There is no denying in the fact that Deputy Director of Education Anil Pardhi has proved couple of times his inefficiency for the post he is currently serving. He is like a toothless authority who only fills the chair for the heck of it. This also clearly hints at the murky nexus between Education Department and the schools. Nagpur Today has received dozens of complaints about the carefree attitude of Pardhi. Its high time the State government should take serious cognizance of it and act before its too late. The parents should have the very right to fight against any irregularities in their wards’ schools.