THE KERALA EDUCATION BILL, 1957
Report of the Select Committee.
1. The Select Committee to which the Kerala Education Bill was referred has considered the Bill clause by clause and now submits this, their Report with the Bill as reported by the Committee annexed thereto.
2. The Bill was published in the Gazette Extraordinary dated the 7th July 1957.
3. The Bill was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on the 13th July 1957 and the motion for reference to Select Committee for report within three weeks was adopted on 20th July 1957. The Assembly on a motion made extended the time for the making of the report till the 24th August 1957.
4. The Committee held eleven sittings of which three were at Alwaye and the rest at Trivandrum. The three sittings at Alwaye and two sittings at Trivandrum were entirely devoted to the taking of evidence from representatives of Educational organizations, institutions and individuals interested.
Clause 1. The Committee considers that it may not be possible to bring all the provisions of the Act into force on the same date. Hence a provision enabling different provisions of the Act being brought into force on different dates has been made.
Clause 3. The Committee considered that from a drafting point of view the sub-clauses may be re-arranged and some verbal amendments effected. The clause has been modified accordingly.
Clause 4. The Committee considers that the constitution of the State Education Advisory Board should be laid down in more detail. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala, the Director of Public Instruction and Director of Health Services should ex officio be members of the Board. The Committee is also of the opinion that the Board should present an annual report to the Government and that the Government shall cause such report to be laid before the Legislative Assembly. The clause has been re-drafted accordingly.
Original Clause 5 of the Bill empowered Government to regulate and control the establishment, management, etc., of aided schools. Since necessary provisions in this regard are contained in the other clauses of the Bill the Committee is of the view that this clause is unnecessary. This clause has accordingly been omitted and the subsequent clauses re-numbered.
Clause 5 (original clause 6). Under the original clause, if a manager of an aided school commit default in furnishing the statement of properties, etc., of schools, he will be liable to fine and in the case of furnishing false statements, to imprisonment also. The Committee is of the view that instead of providing such punishment it would be sufficient to empower the Government to withhold any grant or aid to the school in such cases. Suitable modifications have been effected in the clause.
Clause 6 (original clause 7). This clause prohibits the alienation of properties of an aided school by the Manager without the permission of the prescribed authority. Since the object of this provision is to safeguard the interests of the working of the school, the Committee are of opinion that a provision may be added to the effect that such permission shall ordinarily be granted unless it would adversely affect the working of the school. The authority to grant such permission should also be an officer not below the rank of a District Educational Officer.
The Committee are also of opinion that instead of providing for the punishment of fine and imprisonment for alienation of properties in contravention of the provisions of the clause it would be sufficient to make provision for withholding of grants or aids in such cases.
Necessary changes have been made in the clause for the above purposes.
Clause 7 (original clause 8). Under the original sub clause (4) the Manager was to maintain the records of the schools. Since some of the records of the schools would have to maintain by the Headmaster, the Manager should maintain only such records and accounts as may be prescribed by the Government.
Sub-clause (6) prohibits a Manager from closing a school except in the manner prescribed. The Committee feels that provision should be made to enable the Manager to close down the school, provided he gives one year’s notice of his intention before doing so.
The Committee are also of the view that the punishment provided under sub-clause (8) should not be applicable to contravention of the provisions of sub-clause (5) and that contravention of the provision of sub-clause (7) (namely, failure to hand over the records of the school in the event of the school being closed down etc.) should be punishable only if the contravention is willful. The penalty for continuing offences should also be omitted. The clause has been amended for the above purposes.
Original Clause 9. This clause related to cognizance of offences under clauses 6, 7 and 8. Since the penalties provided under original clauses 6 and 7 have been omitted by Committee this provision will have application only with regard to clause 8 (new clause 7). Hence clause 9 has been omitted and suitable provision included as sub-clause (9) of the new clause 7.
Clause 8. (Original clause 10). Sub-clause (20 of this clause provides for the recovery under the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act of amounts due to the teacher from the Managers of aided schools under certain agreements, schemes or arrangements. The Committee considers that this mode of recovery should be applicable only if such amounts are found due after an enquiry by the District Educational Officer. They also consider that provision should be made for an appeal from the orders of the District Educational Officer. The clause has been modified including a provision for the above purposes.
Clause 9. (original clause 11). The Committee considers that provision should be made for the payment of the salary of the non-teaching staff of aided schools by the Government. A provision for this purpose has been included in the clause.
Clause 10. (original clause 12). The original clause provided for the maintenance of a State Register of teachers containing the names of all persons eligible for appointment as teachers. In view of the change The Committee purpose to the original clause 13 in respect of appointment of teachers in aided schools it is considered that the maintenance of such a register is unnecessary. It will however, be necessary to prescribe the qualifications to be possessed by persons for appointment as teachers. The clause has been substituted by a new clause for this purpose.
Clause 11. (Original clause 13). The original clause provided that all teachers in aided schools shall be appointed only from the panel of names given to the Manager by the prescribed authority. The Committee consider that instead of asking the Manager to select teachers from a panel of names given to him it would be better if the Public Service Commission selects candidates for appointment as teachers both in Government and aided schools and permitting the Manager to appoint any person form the list of candidates so selected. The Committee is of the view that this method will ensure the best hands available being recruited as teachers and at the same time give sufficient freedom to the Managers in the matter of appointment of teachers.
Clause 12. (original clause 14). The original clause provided for the extension to the teachers of aided schools any scheme relating to pension, provident fund and insurance applicable to teachers of Government schools. The Committee feels that the act should provide that the scales of pay applicable to teachers of Government and aided schools should be the same and that the other conditions of service should also be laid down more clearly. They also think teachers of aided schools shall not be dismissed, reduced in rank or suspended without the permission of the officer authorised by the Government in that behalf. The clause has been re-drafted accordingly.
Clause 13. (original clause 15). The Committee consider that in cases of retrenchment of teachers in aided school in the circumstances contemplated under this clause it is enough to provide that the Government of the manager of the aided school may appoint the teachers so retrenched in the Government school or aided school, as the case may be, notwithstanding the fact that the names of such teachers are not included in the list of candidates selected by the Public Service Commission. The clause has been modified accordingly.
Clause 14. (original clause 16). The Committee thinks that before taking over the management of an aided school notice to show cause should be given not only to the manager but also to the Educational agency. The Committee also thinks the power in cases of emergency under sub-clause (2) should be resorted to only when such a course is necessary in the interests of the pupils of the school.
The clause has been modified for these purposes.
Clause 15. (original clause 17). The Committee feel that the power to take over any categories of aided school in specified areas should be exercised only when the proposal is supported by the Legislative Assembly by a resolution. A provision to this effect has been included in this clause.
Clause 16. The Committee consider that in taking over or acquiring schools under clause 14 or clause 15 any immovable property which is intended and is being used for any religious purpose or which on account of its proximity to any place of religious worship should be exempted, should not be taken over or acquired. A new provision for exempting such property has been included.
Clause 17 and 18. (original clause). The Committee considers that the constitution and functions of the Local Educational Authorities should be laid down more precisely in the Act itself. Clause 17 and 18 provide for these matters.
Clause 19. The Committee are of opinion that certain provisions of section 7 alone should be applicable to recognised schools. The reference to other sections ha accordingly been omitted.
Clause 20. Sub-clause (1) of original clause 20 has provided that no fee shall be charged from students in the primary classes. This provision will apply only in areas where primary education is compulsory. The Committee feel that the exemption from fees in primary classes should be applicable throughout the State. Accordingly a new clause for this purpose has been included and sub-clause (1) of the original clause 28 omitted.
Clause 22. (original clause 21). The Committee is of the view that the age of children who are to be compelled to attend school should be specified in the Act itself. Accordingly the words “between the ages………of six and fourteen” have been substituted for “between such ages as may be prescribed.”
Clause 23. The Committee feels that the Government should provide for compulsory education of children throughout the State within a period of ten years from the commencement of the Act. A new provision to this effect has been included.
Clause 30.(original clause 28). Sub-clause (1) has been omitted for the reasons explained in the note on clause 20. The Committee has modified the provisions of sub-clause (2) so that it should be the duty of the Government to see that noon-day meals, clothing, books, etc., are provided for poor pupils free of cost.
Clause 34. (original clause 32). The Committee feels that the powers of the Government should not be delegated to the Local Educational Authorities. The clause has been modified for this purpose.
Clause 38. The Committee feel that it may be made clear that nothing in the Act shall affect the rights of minorities under article 30 or the rights of Anglo-Indian Community under Article 337 of the Constitution and that the provisions of the Act will not apply to schools other than Government and private schools. A saving provision has accordingly been included.
The other changes made by the Committee are only either verbal or consequential. Joseph Mundassery,
Chairman of the Select Committee.