Now, census in schools to avoid bogus students

In a bid to prevent authorities of government-aided schools from extracting money by showing records of non-existent students, the education department will be conducting a survey to determine the numbers of pupils and teachers in each
Spurred into action after the shocking disclosure of the Nanded scam left it with egg on its face, the education department is all set to conduct the first census of all the state's government-aided schools, to ensure that no institutions fill their coffers by showing bogus students on their rolls.

Counting on it: The census, which aims to tackle corruption, will be
conducted between October 3-5, under the scrutiny of the collectors
and class I officials of the government. REPRESENTATION PIC

The scam was unearthed less than a fortnight ago, when a government assessment revealed that crores have been siphoned off by officials at state-aided schools in Nanded, who showed bogus records of 14,000 non-existent students. The census has been planned in order to prevent such fraudulent extractions from recurring.
The census will be conducted between October 3-5 under the scrutiny of the collectors and class I officials of the government, who are not associated with the education board. All students and teachers of state-sponsored schools have been instructed to be present on these dates. The department also plans to bring parity in the student-teacher ratio in course of the census, and will be transferring surplus teachers to schools that are short-staffed. The education department has already asked school administrators to submit details about the numbers of teachers and students on their roles, along with other information, such as the number of classes and sections.

The schools are now scrambling to get their records in order, with each student and teacher having to submit personal details, which are to be attested by the respective principals. Training is also being imparted to the officials who will be conducting the survey. For their convenience, the education board has also deferred the census dates, which had originally been planned for the last week of September.

Student count
There are around 1.40 crore students attending state-aided schools across the state. The budgetary support given to these schools is spent on salaries for teaching and non-teaching staff members.

A source from the education department said, "After the census, schools situated in rural areas will not be able to swindle money from the government, by showing fake registers. We will also shift extra teachers to schools where they are required. The government grants are used to give teachers their salaries."

An official from the education department office in the south zone said, "We have already submitted the details that we received from the schools that are under our jurisdiction. We were asked to submit photocopies of attendance sheets of all the classes, divided into sections. To avoid bogus enrollment, every student's fingerprint will be imprinted alongside his details, so that one boy cannot be passed of as two. The information collected by the surveyors will be submitted to the collectors, who will tally them with the numbers sent it by the schools."

Mumbai collector Chandrashekhar Oak confirmed, "The census will be conducted by class I officials of the government under my guidance."   

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