Wednesday, 31 July 2019

THE ANDHRA PRADESH EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS – PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION - REGULATORY COMMISSION BILL, 2019


THE ANDHRA PRADESH EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS – PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION - REGULATORY COMMISSION BILL, 2019







PREAMBLE

The School Education Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh is committed to educating and nurturing all students by providing better access, promoting enrolment and retention to providing equity, quality and school infrastructure.

Andhra Pradesh is making strides towards overall growth and sustainable development, Education provides the surest instrument for attaining these goals.

Andhra Pradesh has a total of 62,063 Schools covering 13 districts that include Primary Schools, Upper Primary Schools and High Schools. The total students enrolment from Primary to High School is 70,41,568. The total Teachers strength is 2,87,423.

At present educational administration in the State is broadly governed by executive rules and codes and a few enactments to meet some special requirements. Experience in recent years has brought forth the expediency for more comprehensive and legally valid measures in order to make the future of educational administration more effective and fruitful. As a sequel of such significant developments, there is a need for change in the academic requirements, teaching methods, supervision, curricula, courses of study, system of examination, teacher training, school organisation and teacher competences. This situation naturally calls for a revised and continually rising standards in these key areas of School Educational Administration. The existing rules are not comprehensive enough to deal with aforesaid significant developments and have also proved ineffective in actual implementation. It has, therefore, become necessary to confer by law adequate powers on the concerned authorities to deal with the changed situation.

The Government of India enacted Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

In this regard, the Andhra Pradesh Government endeavors to establish a regulatory mechanism to maintain standards of education, regulation of fee, competences of teachers, effective inspection /monitoring of schools, implementation of the provisions Right to Education Act, punitive measures in

defaulting schools etc., The Commission will develop effective and responsive regulation to ensure public spiritedness, equity, excellence, financial stability and probity along with good governance in line with National Policy on Education and Right to Education Act.
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and application – (1) This Act may be called the Andhra Pradesh Educational Institutions – Primary and Secondary Education - Regulatory Commission Act, 2019;

(2) It shall apply to all the Pre-Primary, Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary Educational Institutes in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

2. Definitions – In the Act, unless the context otherwise requires. -

a) “Commission” means the Regulatory Commission established under section 3 of this Act;

b) “School Education” means study of a curriculum or course for the pursuit of knowledge from class I to X.

c) “Educational Institution” means any institution of education in Primary/Upper Primary and Secondary Level;

d) “Member” means a member of the Commission including the Chairperson;

e) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

f) “private school” means a school established and run by the private individuals /societies .

g) “regulations” means regulation made by the Commission under section 20 of this Act;

h) “Regulatory body” means any State or Central Regulatory Body set up for the purpose;

i) “State Government” means the Government of Andhra Pradesh;

j) “student” means person enrolled in the Educational Institution for pursuing a course of study from class I to X;

k) "teacher", means Headmaster, School Assistant, Secondary Grade Teacher, Physical Education Teacher etc., or any other person required to impart education or to guide research or render guidance in any other form to the students for pursuing a course of study in such educational institutions


ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMISSION

3.  Establishment of Commission - (1) With effect from such date as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, there shall be established a Commission by the name of the Andhra Pradesh Educational Institutions – Primary and Secondary Education - Regulatory Commission;

(2) The Commission shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall sue and be sued by the said name;

(3) The headquarters of the commission shall be at such a place as may be notified by the State Government.

4.  Composition of the Commission – (1) The Commission shall consist of –

(a) A Chairperson who is a Retired Judge of the High Court

(b) One Member who is an eminent academician and/or have been head of Institutes of Importance;

(c) One Member who is an eminent Chartered Accountant or a person with over 20 years of experience in the field of Public Finance;

(d) Two Members who are eminent Academicians;

(e) One Member who has extensive experience in administrative matter preferably a person belonging to the Indian Administrative Service either working or retired;

(f) One senior officer from School Education Department in the cadre of

Director/Addl. Director working or retired.

Such member must be of impeachable integrity and of undoubted eminence in their fields;

(2) There shall be a Secretary who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission who shall be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the Commission on such term and conditions, as may be prescribed;

(3) The Chairperson and members of the Commission shall be appointed by the State Government, for a period of five years or until he or she attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier;

Provided that after the expiry of the term of the office, the Chairperson or the member, as the case may be, shall be ineligible for further employment or any assignment in any of the Higher Educational Institutions within Andhra Pradesh or their associate offices or companies within or outside Andhra Pradesh.

5.  Resignation and removal of members – (1) Any member, by notice in writing under this hand addressed to the government resign from office;

(2)No member shall be removed from office except in accordance with the provision of this section;

(3) The State Government may by order remove from office, any member, who

a) has been adjudged an insolvent by the competent court; or

b) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the State Government, involved moral turpitude; or

c) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a member; or

d) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his/her functions as a member; or

e) has so abused his/her position as to render his/her continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest; or

f) has been guilty of proven misbehavior; or

Provided that no member shall be removed from his/her office on any ground specified in clause (d), (e) or (f) unless an enquiry has been conducted for this purpose and the member has been given an opportunity to defend himself/herself.

6.  Appointment of officers and other employees of the commission –(1)To

efficiently discharge its functions under this Act, the Commission shall engage such number of officers and other employees as it may consider necessary, subject to such regulations as may be made in this regard;

(2) The terms and conditions of service of the officers and employees of the Commission shall be such as may be prescribed.

7.  Meeting – The Commission shall meet, as often as may be necessary, at such time and place and observe such procedure, as may be prescribed in the regulations.

POWER AND FUNCTIONS

8. Power and functions of the Commission: It shall be the duty of the Commission to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring coordinated and integrated development of School Education and maintain high standards and for the purposes of performing its functions under this Act, the Commission may-

a) ensure that standards of admission, teaching, examination, research, qualification of teachers and infrastructure, are being maintained by the School Educational Institutions in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Regulatory Bodies of the Central or the State Government from time to time;

b) the Commission shall have the power to monitor and regulate Fee in Private Schools in School Educational and formulate rules for fee fixation, duly taking into account of the local area conditions within 90 days of its constitution;

c) the Commission shall lay guidelines regarding the service conditions of teachers in School Educational Institutions in Government/Zilla Parished and Private Schools (Aided and Un-Aided) and take steps to protect their interests;

d) The Commission shall lay guidelines regarding the evaluation of teacher competences in both Government/Zilla Parished and private schools.

e) The Commission shall lay guidelines for effective supervision /inspection of schools, both academic and administrative.

f) the Commission shall ensure the implementation of the provision of the 25% of reservation of seats in class I in Private Un-Aided Schools for dis-advantaged groups and weaker sections by developing suitable guidelines.

g) the Commission shall lay modalities /guidelines for opening English Medium Sections in the Schools duly ensuring implementation of Telugu.

h) the Commission shall also have the responsibility for setting up the framework under which independent accreditors will be authorized to carry out the task of accrediting school educational institutions, and to act as the overall supervision agency for such accreditors.

i) the Commission shall develop an appropriate mechanism for receipt and redressal of grievances of students and parents, and direct the School Educational Institutes to set-up a proper Grievances Redressal mechanism for redressal of complaints reported to the Commission. Such complaints shall be addressed within the time frame fixed by the Commission with the details of the steps taken by the institution to redress such complaints;

j) to take action pertaining to and pursuant upon liquidation of a private schools including arrangement for completion of courses, conduct of examinations etc. by assigning the jobs to some other School in such a manner that the interest of the students are not adversely affected and the expenditure made for these arrangements for the students along with the process of liquidation of the private school shall be made good from the money deposited in the endowment funds and/or general funds;

k) the Commission shall advise, when called upon to do so by the State Government, as the case may be, on policies relating to school education and research in any field of knowledge therein; cause to be undertaken policy research in school education to identify future direction and processes in school education.

l) the Commission may conduct inspections of School Education Institutions as and when required and may form an expert committee, for inspections;

m) the findings of the Regulatory Commission shall be communicated to the School Education Institutions formally, with a request to rectify deficiencies or problems noted within an acceptable timeframe, At all times, the School Education Institutions shall have both the right to appeal to the Commission against conclusion on deficiencies or problems, as well as the responsibility to set them right expeditiously;

n) if any School Education Institution fails within a reasonable time to comply with any directions made by the Commission under Section 8 or any regulation made Section 20, the Commission after taking into consideration the cause, if any, shown by the School Education Institution concerned, the Commission may penalize that School Education Institution under Section 9 of the Act;

o) In case of successive violations of any provision of this Act, rules and regulations made therefrom, the Commission can recommend to the appropriate statutory body and the concerned for the withdrawal of the affiliation or recognition of such institution.

Furthermore, in case of grave violations, the Commission is empowered to direct managements of School Education Institutions to wind up/shut down.

9. Penalties- (1) The Commission may, for the contravention of any provision of this Act or the rules or regulations made there under, or directions issued by the Commission, imposing appropriate penalty;

The Commission may impose a heavier penalty for a second or subsequent contravention, as deemed appropriate;

Provided further that no penalty shall be imposed unless the institution concerned is given an opportunity of being heard.

(2) The penalty imposed under sub- section (1) shall be recoverable from the endowment fund or any other Fund or as an arrear of land revenue from the School Education Institution concerned.

10. Procedure and Powers of the Commission- (1) The Commission shall, for the purposes of any inquiry or proceedings under this Act, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) in respect of the following matters, namely:-

(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
6

(b) discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence;

(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;

(d) requisitioning of any public record;

(e) issuing commission for the examination of witnesses;

(f) reviewing its decisions, directions and orders;

(g) any other matters which may be prescribed;

(2) The Commission shall have the powers to pass such interim order in any proceeding, hearing or matter as the Commission may consider appropriate;

(3) The Commission may authorize any person, as it deems fit, to represent the interest of the students and parents in the proceedings before it;

(4) All disputes under this Act shall be decided summarily in accordance with the provisions of Order XXXVII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

11. Establishment of IT Cell – (1) Commission shall set up a compact IT cell to develop a state-wide database on all matters concerning School Education Institutions particularly academic quality in school education and research and the development of emerging fields of knowledge;

(2) The Commission shall monitor, through the state-wide database, all matters concerning the development of school education to ensure effective regulation and advice as per Section 8 (h) of this Act.

12. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the School Education Institution shall be bound to comply all the rules, regulations, norms, etc., of the Regulating Bodies and provide all such facilities and assistance to such Bodies as are required by them to discharge their duties and carry out their functions.

FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT


13. Payment to the Commission- The State Government may, after due appropriation made by the State Legislature by law in this behalf, pay to the Commission in each financial year such sums as may be considered necessary for the performance of functions of the Commission under this Act.

14. Fund of the Commission- (1) The Commission shall have its own Fund; and all sums which may from time to time be paid to it by the State Government and all the

receipts of the Commission shall be credited to the Fund and all payments by the Commission shall be made therefrom.

(2) The Commission may spend such sums as it thinks fit for performing its functions under this Act, and such sums shall be treated as expenditure payable out of the Fund of the Commission.

15.Budget - The Commission shall prepare, in such form and at such time each year as may be prescribed, a budget in respect of the financial year next ensuing showing the estimated receipts and expenditure, and copies thereof shall be forwarded to the State Government.

16.Accounts and Audit of the Commission- (1) The Commission shall maintain its accounts in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) The accounts of the Commission shall be audited annually by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India

(3)The annual accounts of the Commission together with the audit report thereon shall be forwarded to the State Government, the Government shall cause the same to be laid before the State Legislature and shall also forward a copy of the audit report to the Commission for taking suitable action on the matter arising out of the audit report.

17. Annual report- (1) The Commission shall, as soon as, may be, after the end of each financial year, prepare and submit to the State Government, before such date and in such form as may be prescribed, a report giving an account of its activities during the previous year and the State Government, shall cause every such report to be laid before the Legislative Assembly as soon as may be, after its receipt.

(2) The Commission shall send a copy of the audited annual accounts of the Commission to the State Government every year, and the State Government shall cause such accounts to be laid before the Legislative Assembly.

18. Power to make rules- (1) The State Government may, by notification publish in the Official Gazette, make rules in consultation with the commission for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely: -

(a) procedure to follow by the members in the discharge of their functions;

(b) the inspection of School Education Institutions;

(c) the form and manner in which the accounts shall be maintained by the Commission under Section 14 of this Act;

(d) such other matters as may be required for proper functioning of the Commission.

19. Power to make regulations- The Commission may, make regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act.

20. Rules and regulations to be laid in Legislative Assembly- Every rule and regulation made under section 18 and 19 of this Act shall respectively be laid, as soon as may be after these are made, before the Legislative Assembly.

21. Powers to remove difficulties-(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the State Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as appear to it to be necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of three years from the commencement of this Act.

(2) Every order made under this Section shall be laid, as soon as it is made before the State Legislature.





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