Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

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Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Kumarg on Tue May 08, 2012 10:51 am

The sports minister recently announced that Play grounds of all schools, including Elite schools like Model, DPS, Loretto Convent etc will be open after school hours for any and all children who live in the 3-4 Km neighbourhood. He will extend this rule to Chennai, Mumbai and other Metros soon. First I welcomed this decision as I thought it would be great that finally poor children can have a clean and safe place to play. Moreover it would be great to see poor kids play say, Cricket, along side kids from affluent background, hopefully bridging some gaps between these two extreme economic classes. But later I thought this can create so many problems and burden schools already burdened under the RTE. Mainly, who will take responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance of these school playground after school hours. Is it fair to burden these schools (rather than the Indian Government taking responsibility?). I then has the same questions and concerns as I had for the RTE. What do you guys think?

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Kumarg on Wed May 09, 2012 10:11 am

Any views?

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Maria S on Wed May 09, 2012 10:42 am

I think it's a good and innovative idea.

*As in all innovative and good ideas, the practical implementation obviously comes with challenges. Without Pilot Programs..can't predict how successful they can be. May be I am an optimist (like other optimists), who does not give up without trying..so, let's not dismiss the idea right away without trying-making the best effort.

Sure, it's an extra burden..but there may be a lot of others - who may be willing to colloborate-individual volunteers (old and young), Community Organizations, Faith based Orgs, Corps and Companies- which make Charitable contributions to pay people some extra money to help out..you never know!

*I had no idea what RTE was..learned something new.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 10:54 am

Kumarg wrote: But later I thought this can create so many problems and burden schools already burdened under the RTE. Mainly, who will take responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance of these school playground after school hours. Is it fair to burden these schools (rather than the Indian Government taking responsibility?).

many of these private elite schools already rely on the state government for funds, albiet partly, and they are the ones who would be covered by the RTE (though many are independent -- true -- and aren't covered by RTE). i agree maintaining playgrounds costs money. i think it's more efficient they recover this cost directly from the public than have the govt. act as a via media by collecting for them through taxes and cess.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 11:16 am

oops, sorry. i see that a SC ruling of april '12 has made all private, unaided schools to fall under RTE. however, private, unaided, minority schools are still exempt. that's still a huge chunk -- all missionary schools.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Maria S on Wed May 09, 2012 11:41 am

*I really think the time has really come, in the US and India- not to allow tax-exempt status for any religious Org/Inst in money matters, they are just businesses, like all others.

In this case, wish there were no exclusions.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Idéfix on Wed May 09, 2012 11:51 am

It sounds like a good idea. These elite schools can take care of their playgrounds.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 12:08 pm

Maria S wrote:*I really think the time has really come, in the US and India- not to allow tax-exempt status for any religious Org/Inst in money matters, they are just businesses, like all others.

in india, schools and colleges can only be run by the govt. or no-profit-no-loss trusts. so the question of tax exemption does not arise. this "no-profit" mindset/law must change (to add to what you say) for robust growth in this sector (particularly through FDI). FDI in education is permitted by law in india but there are no takers.

siphoning profits out of these charitable trusts involves a lot of accounting jugglery that only the indians (esp. the politicians among them) are best at.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Idéfix on Wed May 09, 2012 12:17 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:
Maria S wrote:*I really think the time has really come, in the US and India- not to allow tax-exempt status for any religious Org/Inst in money matters, they are just businesses, like all others.

in india, schools and colleges can only be run by the govt. or no-profit-no-loss trusts. so the question of tax exemption does not arise. this "no-profit" mindset/law must change (to add to what you say) for robust growth in this sector (particularly through FDI). FDI in education is permitted by law in india but there are no takers.
Aren't there tons of private schools that make money for their owners? The private education sector is thriving at all ends of the price range, at least in AP. You have the lakhs-of-rupees-a-month "international" schools with air-conditioned classrooms, and you have the small private, English-medium schools where nobody can speak fluent English which cater to the lower middle class. The gap is in the quality of public schools that serve the poorest people, and I don't know if the private sector can ever serve that. (I don't know of any country where the private sector does a good job of providing primary education to the poorest kids.)

Are the people who make money from the school business breaking the law?

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 12:24 pm

panini press wrote:Are the people who make money from the school business breaking the law?

yes, as far as i am aware. check any international school or private school or college in india on the net and you'll see they are governed by a trust. there are many hues to the definition of breaking the law. i am not aware what rules apply to where these trusts are supposed to invest their surpluses -- but that i'd suspect is one loophole.


Last edited by Huzefa Kapasi on Wed May 09, 2012 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Idéfix on Wed May 09, 2012 12:28 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:
panini press wrote:Are the people who make money from the school business breaking the law?

yes, as far as i am aware. check any international school or private school or college in india on the net and you'll see they are governed by a trust. there are many hues to the definition of breaking the law. i am not aware what rules aplly to where these trusts are supposed to invest their surpluses -- but that i'd suspect is one loophole.
Another way would be to pay exorbitant salaries to the management team. Basically take all the surplus, and pay that out as salary / bonus to the owners. That way there is no net profit at the end of the year. You can stay technically not-for-profit that way.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Maria S on Wed May 09, 2012 12:39 pm

HK,

I meant fully taxing all the Religious Trusts- which run Churches and other Religious Places of Worship and Religous Groups which operate in less-structured ways. As long as they collect money- they should be taxed just the same as any private Corp/Company.

Any effort like this- works better and is less expensive with colloboration when Govt. Agencies partner with the Private Sector and Individuals who are willing to work together. No matter what anyone says- Govt. regulations are important, imo.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 12:44 pm

panini press wrote:Another way would be to pay exorbitant salaries to the management team. Basically take all the surplus, and pay that out as salary / bonus to the owners. That way there is no net profit at the end of the year. You can stay technically not-for-profit that way.

not a good idea. that would attract tax on employee's income plus of a plethora of benami or dummy employees IT files to be maintained for ever. yes, it would help you keep the profits (instead of having to invest it in the expansion of your campus) but i don't think the headache of maintaining those numerous files would be worth it. i am sure the politicians, who largely own these colleges, have developed a "good" loophole. capitation fee (through "legal" management quota -- i understand it is 35% for TN and 15% for karnataka by SC ruling now) for colleges is one by the way. with schools, donations work. with police, contribution to the "police widows fund" works.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 12:50 pm

Maria S wrote:HK,

I meant fully taxing all the Religious Trusts- which run Churches and other Religious Places of Worship and Religous Groups which operate in less-structured ways. As long as they collect money- they should be taxed just the same as any private Corp/Company.

Any effort like this- works better and is less expensive with colloboration when Govt. Agencies partner with the Private Sector and Individuals who are willing to work together. No matter what anyone says- Govt. regulations are important, imo.

i agree. you might have read that the SC has just passed an order to phase out haj subsidy. the order is controversial for a double bench SC has overruled another double bench SC ruling. let's see if it goes through uncontested. if it does, then stuff like mansarovar darshan (that i think is subsidized or maybe i am thinking of some other pilgirimage) should also be phased out.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Another Brick on Thu May 10, 2012 3:27 am

fuqers in the town-planning dept should reserve land for playgrounds and parks instead of selling it to builders instead. i live on the west side of pune and there is not a single park or playground where children can go and play. and the DP (development plan) for pune has no such intention either. they had reserved some land for parks in the past but we now have buildings there.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Merlot Daruwala on Thu May 10, 2012 5:01 am

Kumarg wrote:The sports minister recently announced that Play grounds of all schools, including Elite schools like Model, DPS, Loretto Convent etc will be open after school hours for any and all children who live in the 3-4 Km neighbourhood. He will extend this rule to Chennai, Mumbai and other Metros soon. First I welcomed this decision as I thought it would be great that finally poor children can have a clean and safe place to play. Moreover it would be great to see poor kids play say, Cricket, along side kids from affluent background, hopefully bridging some gaps between these two extreme economic classes. But later I thought this can create so many problems and burden schools already burdened under the RTE. Mainly, who will take responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance of these school playground after school hours. Is it fair to burden these schools (rather than the Indian Government taking responsibility?). I then has the same questions and concerns as I had for the RTE. What do you guys think?

Basically, a venal, incompetent and expanding government is fobbing off its own mandatory responsibilities (to provide education, healthcare and civic amenities to its poorest citizens) to the private sector and it is doing it while taking the higher moral ground.

So when it finds that despite frittering away hundreds of thousands of crores of our tax money on rural development, our villages are as backward as they were a century ago, they turn round and make it the corporate world's responsibility, asking all listed companies to spend 2% of their profits on CSR. And in the case of RTE, instead of cleaning up the highly inefficient and dysfunctional government-run schooling system, they're bullying private schools into shouldering the burden of educating poorer children (the costs of which will again pass on to us, the hapless taxpayers). Another typical, thieving, third world government only this one with delusions of grandeur.


Last edited by Merlot Daruwala on Thu May 10, 2012 5:05 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added "thieving")

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by pravalika nanda on Thu May 10, 2012 5:50 pm

Kumarg wrote:The sports minister recently announced that Play grounds of all schools, including Elite schools like Model, DPS, Loretto Convent etc will be open after school hours for any and all children who live in the 3-4 Km neighbourhood. He will extend this rule to Chennai, Mumbai and other Metros soon. First I welcomed this decision as I thought it would be great that finally poor children can have a clean and safe place to play. Moreover it would be great to see poor kids play say, Cricket, along side kids from affluent background, hopefully bridging some gaps between these two extreme economic classes. But later I thought this can create so many problems and burden schools already burdened under the RTE. Mainly, who will take responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance of these school playground after school hours. Is it fair to burden these schools (rather than the Indian Government taking responsibility?). I then has the same questions and concerns as I had for the RTE. What do you guys think?

** i'm sure playing cricket with rich people would not help bridge the economic gap. i went to india recently and even small gaps in wealth (i have 0.5 crores more than you) are felt deeply. the poor will never enter rich peoples' playgrounds, they will be kept out by social, caste and class hostility.

** however if i was a parent i would not want these random kids to enter the playground. who knows if they will sell drugs, carry small weapons, lice or are HIV and TB positive?

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Mon May 14, 2012 3:12 am

The story of education in free India is a sad one. The government created a vast number of schools, practically free, after independence. But they were so uniformly bad that the middle classes shunned them and scrambled for places in a few private schools. Thus arose a situation of scarcity, and you needed either money or contacts to get in. If this the plight of the middle class, the situation of the masses is tragic. The state has failed to provide both the quantity and quality of education -- Gurucharan Das, India Unbound.

Add to that the fact that the state still refuses to treat school and college education as a for-profit industry (a nehruvian hangover) like any other -- like, say, information technology.

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Kumarg on Tue May 15, 2012 3:56 am

[/quote] Another typical, thieving, third world government only this one with delusions of grandeur.[/quote]

Exactly my sentiments, you couldn't have said it better! The worst part is that this incompetent government will take credit for it. The point to be noted is that the burden will not just fall on 'any parent', it will invariably fall on the Middle Class parent

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Re: Poor children in Rich Delhi School Playgrounds

Post by Guest on Tue May 15, 2012 8:43 am

panini press wrote:Another way would be to pay exorbitant salaries to the management team. Basically take all the surplus, and pay that out as salary / bonus to the owners. That way there is no net profit at the end of the year. You can stay technically not-for-profit that way.

OK, this is how they do it. simply elegant: Like most regulatory hurdles, many Indian companies get over the issue by forming a trust and getting most of the work ‘outsourced’ to the actual company.

source: http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report_non-profit-only-rule-hinders-private-equity-in-education_1247867

so the trust collects rs 100 as fees and pays rs 99.99 to the outsource-company. brilliant! this is called lateral thinking. Razz

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