Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 3
The UT Administration today ordered that private schools will not be allowed to increase the fee for 2020-21 without its approval and will continue to charge the same fee as in 2019-20.
While charging the tuition fee, the schools will not include any “hidden or additional charges”, the Administration stated in its order. All private schools have been mandated to display the details of the fee structure (specifically tuition fee) as per the provisions of Section 5(C) of the Fee Regulation Act, 2016, on their websites and also inform the Administration about it by June 15.
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator issued the orders as the Chairperson of the State Disaster Management Authority in exercise of powers conferred under Section 39 (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The order stated: “Private schools were asked to upload income and expenditure accounts and the balance sheet as per the provisions of Section 5 of the Punjab Regulation of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutions Act, 2016, as extended to the UT, but most of the schools have not complied with the provisions. Therefore, the exact financial status of most schools could not be ascertained.”
“Most schools have not uploaded the complete fee structure on their websites, as required under the Act,” the order read.
As per the conditions of the allotment of land to educational institutions (schools) on a leasehold basis in the Chandigarh Scheme, 1996, amended in 2001 and 2005 (paragraph number 18), all private schools have to follow the directions issued by the UT Administration from time to time in connection with the fee structure.
The order also stated that the District Education Officer has reported that “several complaints have been received from parents that schools are collecting extra charges in the name of tuition fee and have also increased the tuition fee substantially (after the May 18 order and enactment of the Fee Regulation Act).”
Previously, considering the financial hardships of parents due to the nationwide lockdown, directions regarding deferment of payment of fee were issued on March 30 and revised orders regarding payment of monthly tuition fee were issued on May 18 in compliance with the interim directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Will move court: ISA
"The order has put the schools in a quandary. The fee structure was on our websites in February and the fee was collected as per the UT order of May 18. Ninety per cent of the fee has been received. We are totally confused. Hence, we will have to go to court to get the issue redressed." — HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association
Welcome relief: Parent
"We welcome the relief that came with the rolling back of the fee hike. However, the term tuition fee continues to be a bone of contention since most schools have merged all other heads in the tuition fee in recent years. The Administration must also regulate the rates of late fee charged by private schools" — A parent
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