It's been over two years since the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) asked all its affiliated schools to "develop their own websites containing comprehensive information about the school and its management". But not many have complied so far.
In its latest circular, sent on June 17, the CBSE has warned that the defaulting schools "will not be able to register their candidates for board examinations". The note, signed by U C Bodh, deputy secretary (affiliation), says the "responsibility would lie with the school management".
The CBSE had first sent a circular in this regard on October 18, 2010, followed by a reminder on December 5, 2011.
However, in its latest circular, the board, in an attempt to make functioning of schools more transparent, has attached a three-page form seeking detailed information, including the fee structure, salaries paid to teaching and non-teaching staff, and mode of payment of salary.
Among the other details sought are: particulars of teaching staff, area of campus, name of trust/ society/ company associated with the school, names and addresses of the school management committee members, and infrastructure facilities. The note adds that all information must be "updated from time to time".
Schools "prescribing private publishers' books should also put a declaration" on their websites, says the note.
In contrast, the 2010 circular only laid down the broad "norms of affiliation with CBSE". On the fee structure, the board said it "should be commensurate with the facilities provided by the institution". And on salaries, it said the schools should comply with the "minimum requirements" as "laid down in Section 3(3)".
The CBSE gave schools one month's time to upload the information. "Several schools haven't uploaded the necessary information. The board will take necessary action against them," said a board official.
"We are going to rely on student registrations to find out about schools which still don't have websites. We are contemplating strict action against schools which fail to comply. We haven't received any objections from schools so far... I don't see why anyone should object to divulging basic information," said CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi.
"We think CBSE is overstepping its mandate in asking for details of trustees or salary structure of teachers. We submit the details to required authorites. Why does the CBSE want to play watchdog? Why should we furnish details to it?" said Jyoti Basu, principal of Springdales School.
"We are planning to take up the issue at the next national progressive schools conference," said Dr Usha Ram, principal of Laxman Public School.