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Action sought against schools collecting compulsory donation

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, JUNE 23. Members of the Students Federation of India (SFI) today staged a protest, urging the State government to take action against private schools which collected compulsory donation. They also wanted immediate implementation of a Supreme Court order on reservation of seats for poor students.

More than two-dozen members, led by State president, G. Selva, gathered in the portico of the Directorate of Public Instruction on College Road. They said most of the private schools in the State collected donations ranging from Rs.1,000 to Rs.10,000 during admissions. The government should immediately ban the practice, the members said and called for stringent action against erring schools.

`Implement SC order'

The members also called upon the government to immediately implement a Supreme Court order directing all private schools to reserve 25 per cent of seats for children belonging to the economically weaker sections. The order, passed on April 27, categorically stated that unaided private schools should earmark 25 per cent of the total strength to poor students. The government should waste no time in implementing the order.

They also called upon the government to fill the 50,000-odd teacher posts in primary schools alone. The schools should also distribute scholarship amounts in the beginning of the academic year itself.

The protest had its share of drama as personnel from Nungambakkam police arrived at the spot more than 30 minutes after the protest began. The personnel warned the SFI members that they would be arrested if they did not disperse. The members, however, countered stating that they were holding a peaceful demonstration. They said they would disperse after submitting a memorandum to senior officials at the Directorate.

Policemen repeated their warning, but the protestors resisted. The members and the policemen had a heated exchange.

Finally, a section of the students handed over the memorandum to officials, before dispersing.

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