Jalandhar, April 16
The Punjab government has handed over the management of eight Adarsh schools to two new private partners after auditors found serious financial irregularities on the part of those managing the affairs earlier.
Speaking to HT, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka said that the state education department has signed an agreement with Educomp Solutions to run seven schools - Daulatpura Niwan (Moga), Ranish Kalan (Moga), Hardasa (Ferozepur), Bhopal (Mansa), Boha (Mansa), Malla (Faridkot) and Chaunke ( Bathinda). Besides, Chief Khalsa Diwan has been roped in to run Ucha School in Kapurthala, which was established recently.
Maluka said that the chief minister's office has given approval to appoint these two organisations for running the schools.
The organisations whose contracts for running the schools stand terminated are Baba Isher Singh Educational Society, Bala Ji Education Trust and Aklia Education Society.
The minister said that the department would soon invite applications for running the remaining three Adarsh schools - Miduman (Faridkot), Pathrala (Bathinda) and Pacca (Faridkot).
The Educomp Solution is already running Kalewal School (Ajitgarh) and Chief Khalsa Diwan is looking after the affairs of schools at Dhandhran (Ludhiana) and Naushehra Pannuan (Tarn Taran).
"Serious irregularities were found on the part of organisations running the schools earlier, including fudging of students' enrollment figures to fetch additional government grants," Maluka said.
CAUGHT ON WRONG FOOT
It was also noticed that students enrolled with the schools were paying for their transportation on their own, still the managements had been claiming funds from the government for the purpose.
The private organisations had allegedly also floated their own firms for supplying school items and services to the Adarsh schools. The managements were also not paying teachers salaries as sanctioned by the government. Moreover, some of the teachers and employees were shown employed in more than one institution and that too at much higher pay scales.
A school had claimed Rs 2.16 lakh monthly against rent being paid to a private firm that provided smart class equipment like interactive board, production studio with digital video camera; while it was established that smart class equipment was yet to be installed in the said school.
*HT Media Ltd.