CIC directs DoE to allow inspection of schools

Inspection of all record and physical verification of infrastructure facilities can be done on the last working day of every month

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | April 4, 2012



The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the Directorate of Education (DoE) to issue a fresh circular to allow inspections of all records and physical verification of infrastructure facilities like availability of water and sanitation, boundary wall, classrooms and teaching facilities and midday meals in schools.

The order was passed after it was found that the DoE violated CIC’s earlier order in which it asked schools to allow inspection.

NGO Josh, in August last year had filed an RTI with the CIC when it was not allowed to enter schools during the post-facto audit by NCPCR on implementation of RTE act.

The commission in September 2011 passed an order and asked the directorate of education and MCD to open their records to be inspected by any citizen on the last working day of every month.

It said certain categories of document including the manuals mandated under Section 4 (1) (b) of the RTI Act should be available in hard copy in the school.  It said that documents should be available for inspection suo motu to ensure transparency and accountability of the functioning of schools.

On September 30, for the first time schools run by GNCT and MCD were inspected  by the School Watch Group, a group of more than 20 non-governmental organizations.

But a few days before the next inspection in October, a circular from the Additional Director of Education was issued which asked heads of all the government schools to ensure that no outsider without permission of the Principal be allowed to enter the school.

Josh filed an appeal against this. “Delhi government said they did not stop the inspection but said they cannot allow infrastructure audit because it was not part of the order. But actually their circular clearly said they will not allow any inspection,” said Saurabh from Josh. He added, “we only had problem with the GNCT school, we have been regularly conducting inspection in MCD schools.”

In its latest order, Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said schools must provide documents of admission records, attendance record of students and teachers, budget allocations, budget sanction and expenditure incurred, expenditure on educational tours, midday meals, sanitation, records of disbursements made to students on account of scholarships, uniforms, books and all other incentives given under any scheme.

All schools will have to provide these documents for inspection by citizens on last working day of every month, from 8 am to 10 am and 2 PM to 4 PM for the first and second shift schools. The information regarding inspection timings should be available on the notice boards of all schools.

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