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Any immediate respite for parents?

While the recent Gujarat High Court judgment comes as a great relief to parents by upholding state governments law for regulating school fees, how soon the parents will be able to benefit of the same remains something to be watched for.At a time when many schools across the state have started collecting fees for the next academic year, there is still no clarity on the fees for next academic year. The processes of the fee regulatory committee may take some time and, hence, schools are mulling over their decision for fees in the interim period.Commenting on the judgment, Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) said, “Now that the judgment has come we wish government will ensure that the schools can function smoothly without having to compromise on the quality of school education in Gujarat which has started improving over the last decade.”AoPS member schools range from JG International school, Udgam school, Divine Child International School. Delhi Public School, Anand Niketan school, etc.An academician requesting anonymity said, “The order seems to be a small win in a huge battle. Even today, schools can approached the Supreme Court or they can approach the FRC. If they go to the FRC in three weeks, as per law, FRC will have to pass an order in 90 days. Even if FRC passes an order early and well in time, schools can then go for revision which again would take 90 days and eventually higher court. All of this process will take a lot of time and there is no clarity on fees for next academic year.Sources said the schools may approach the government and ask to form guideliness for FRC as per the high court order. A major concern of this entire Act is that there is no upper limit of fees. As per the order, if schools can justify to the FRC, they can charge higher fees.Dharmesh Patel, one of the parents of the association of Tripada International School in Ghatlodia, said, “The decision is great, but the biggest challenge will be to see how and when the state government implements the same. Since the Act has been upheld by the court, the responsibility of the government becomes double ensuring justice to parents. Also, since there is hardly any school which had gone to the high court, FRC’s should not take a long time.”Raising an important concern, Pooja Prajapati, President, Parents Ekta Manch said, “We welcome the decision and it is a victory for the parents. However, some questions have remained unanswered. The court has allowed schools to file an appeal in six weeks regarding their concern. Then what is the point of keeping fee slabs. Taking advantage of this slab, many schools that used to charge Rs 7000 or so and if they now increase till Rs 15000, there is no clarity on the same. Our fight will go on.”Ruchi Chaudhary, Managing Trustee, Shankus Foundation, Divine Child International School said, “We welcome the high court order and follow the notifications of going to FRC for an increment of fees so as to maintain the quality of education and other quality amenities we offer to our students.”Manan Choksi, managing director, Udgam School for Children said, “We are getting a legal opinion on whether should we collect fees up to certain amount or not collect at all. While we can return post dated cheques collected from parents once the order of FRC comes, but need some clarity to plan yearly expenses.”Schools need to approach FRC in three weeks FRC to give its order in 90 days If schools are not satisfied, they can apply for revision (90 days) Eventually they can approach a higher court Aggrieved parents have no place to approach *No upper limit of fees for justification

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Most schools to charge by the month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Schools across the city are in a fix over new admissions. While the admission season for nursery begins after Diwali, this year the same has been delayed.Due to an unclear picture, most schools have changed their admissions as per the Fee Regulatory Act. Most schools have decided to charge admission, term, and monthly fees on a per-month basis. MP Chandran, spokesperson of Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) said, “We have communicated to our member schools that we have decided to charge admission fee for only one month as per the Act, subject to the decision by the HC. We are considering only sibling cases in JG International school.”Parents and school community have been in confusion since March 30 when the state government through its Gujarat Self-Financed School (Regulation of Fees Bill), 2017, put a cap on annual fees of self-financed schools across Gujarat at Rs 15,000 for primary section, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 for higher secondary classes.Manan Chokshi, Managing Trustee, Udgam School for Children said, “Since there is no clarity from the state government as well as the HC yet, we have decided to start our admissions from December 1…. We have decided to charge admission fee only for one month along with regular fees. At the moment, we are only accepting inquiries and shortlisting them.”

3 from city to represent India at World Robot Olympiad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three students from Ahmedabad have made it to the final round of the largest robotics competition in the world to be held in November this year. Team Sustainable Eco Bots comprising school students from the city will represent India at the World Robot Olympiad 2017 to be held in Costa Rica. Touted as one of the largest robotics competition in the world, teams from around 70 countries are expected to participate.Aarav Savla from Ahmedabad International School, Arya Zope of Udgam School and Aaman Shah of Zydus School- all members of Sustainable Eco Bots team- clinched the second position in the Junior High Category and qualified to represent India in Costa Rica.Children belonging to the age group of 12-16 years will have to design robots on the theme of Carbon Neutrality to solve the challenge of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. The crux lies in the use of alternative renewable energy sources like solar panels and trees.The nationals were held in India at the Global Genesis School in Noida on October 7 and 8, hosted by India Stem Foundation along with National Council of Science Museum, Government of India.ONE OF THE BESTTouted as one of the largest robotics competition in the world, teams from around 70 countries are expected to participate in the Olympiad.

Gujarat school wants Blake’s poem replaced by Tagore’s

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahmedabad-based Udgam School for Children has proposed that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) replace a William Blake poem in a Class 8 English textbook with that of one by Rabindranath Tagore.According to the school located in Thaltej, Blake’s ‘The School Boy’, printed in the class 8 textbook of the National Council of Educational, Research and Training (NCERT), puts the school in bad light.The school sent an e-mail in this regard to the board on Wednesday. The correspondence by Sujata Tandon, Principal, Udgam school, stated: “It is to bring to your kind notice that English NCERT book of Class 8, has a poem named The School Boy in Unit V by William Blake on page number 84-85. I would like the panel of experts to review the poem as it is not having high praise for the schools. I would like to substitute it by some other poem on school.I have attached one for your consideration by an Indian author.”Confirming the same, Manan Choksi, the executive director of the school, said, “Blake’s poem focuses on the downsides of formal learning and shows how going to school on a summer day takes away the joy. The boy in this poem is more interested in escaping his classroom. When CBSE is taking a step forward and asking for suggestions, schools, according to me, should not restrict to pointing out syntax errors but semantic errors as well.”

Schools ensure children keep up during rain vacay

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To make optimum use of the unexpected rainy holidays, schools across the city are using social media platforms to give assignments to students. Schools like Udgam, DPS, St Kabir, Anand Niketan, among others, have forwarded assignments to their students to practice at home.Udgam School for Children sent messages to students’ parents asking them to use the holidays productively. Confirming the same, Manan Choksi, managing trustee of Udam, told DNA that the school has uploaded assignments and worksheets on their mobile app. Choksi said, “As per the state government directive, our school will remain shut on Friday as well. Hence, we have sent Whatsapp messages to students’ parents to refer to our mobile app and have kids practice the assignments at home in order to use the holidays productively.”Pragya Pandya of St Kabir said, “We want our children to utilise their time off. Hence, all our teachers are sending regular assignments and revision work to students.”

Run a spellcheck, students are reading

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when even the government brushes off spelling errors in school textbooks with a ‘Oh, it’s just a typing mistake’ statement, city’s Udgam School for Children has initiated a campaign to encourage children to follow spellings and notice spelling errors. Named ‘Spot the spelling mistakes,’ the campaign that started on June 21, on the first day of the new academic session, urges students to highlight spelling errors not just in textbooks but also on hoardings across the city.To make them aware of the importance of correct language and spellings, the school encourages students of not just Udgam but of all other schools to spot mistakes, click a picture and share it with authorities concerned.Manan Choksi, managing trustee, Udgam School, says, “Children these days do not take their own errors seriously, but are the first ones to point a finger at others. Our intention is to make them aware. We often come across glaring errors on hoardings or restaurant menus. Students are encouraged to train their eyes to spot them.”The campaign is open till August 15 and during the one and a half month, students can send in as many mistakes as they find, either through email or on social media using #spellingmistakes. Of the total entries, a few will be shortlisted and the winner will be chosen through a lucky draw.

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