*Representational File photo

Private schools are in a fix over the state government's move in Jharkhand.

First,after photographs appeared in social media,showing a students smoking cigarettes in uniform near his school campus,Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar issued a letter to private school principals to ensure that shops selling tobacco products within 100-yard radius of their institutes are closed down.

Since these shops were located in encroached land,Principals cribbed that the district administration should remove these shops."We are supposed to run the school and lack authority to shut these shops.The district administration ought to do this work.Unfortunately,the DC is passing the buck on us",said principal of a reputed school seeking anonymity.

Another source of their woe is the bill to regulate private school fees.The bill was supposed to be passed by the state Assembly on Thursday.However,as the treasury benches rose in support,the Opposition Congress MLA Badal Patralekh raised a demand on floor of the house on Thursday demanding to amend the existing Jharkhand Education Tribunal Bill 2017.

What made his demand a flash point was Opposition leader and acting vice president of the JMM Hemant Soren's demand to include MLAs in the list of committee mentioned in the bill to implement the provisions of the bill.The CM Raghubar Das opposed it.

Strangely, apart from Opposition parties' MLAs,all MLAs of the ruling party BJP,except Das and Education Minister,supported Soren's demand and walked out of the house opposing the CM's stand.Result?

The school fee bill seeking to put an annual cap of hike at Rs 300 and not 10 percent of the existing fee as stipulated in the existing draft of the bill was referred to the select committee of the Assembly.This,however,has not provided relief to management committees of private schools.

"If the bill is approved with committee having an MLA in it,we will get ruined",said secretary of a private school management committee,echoing the sentiments of his counterparts of other private schools in Jharkhand. 

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