Srinagar: The Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) has barred all the private educational institutions from charging any annual fee or other amount from November 2022 to March 2023.
The move comes after the private schools demanded annual fees from parents for November 2022 to March 2023 months citing “extension” in the current academic session.
The schools were giving a perception to the parents that the change in academic session from November to March resulted in extension of the session.
Also, one of the private schools had demanded Rs 300 as “heating charges” from the parents citing that the class work will continue till December.
“In view of the new education policy, the academic calendar has been extended to March instead of Oct-Nov and the classwork will have to continue for the November and December months,” reads a circular issued by Oak hill Institute of Education.
“Since the weather is cold and needs heating arrangement for that each student shall be charged Rs 300 per month which is to be paid separately to the form teacher within three working days from October 31,” the circular reads.
The parents opposed the move saying that the schools would otherwise conduct the classwork for November and December months prior to change of session from November to March.
“The only difference was that the students would join new classes in November after appearing in annual exams in October month. But the schools are asking parents to pay separate heating charges which is unacceptable,” the parents said.
As already reported, the Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson school earlier asked parents to pay annual fees for November 2021 to February 2022 noting that the payment will reflect in the fees for November 2022 as the academic session was changed to March.
However, the FFRC barred the school management from charging the fees and summoned the school principal to the office as well.
In a fresh order, the FFRC has stated that the academic session of the educational institutions comprises only 12 months.
The Chairman FFRC, Justice (retd) Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar has said the Government has made it clear that new admissions will commence from the March of the calendar year and Annual Examinations shall be conducted in March-April session in all the Government and recognised private schools.
The FFRC Chairman said that it was impressed upon these authorities that the school management’s notice to the students to pay Annual Fee for the months November 2022 to March 2023 was “legally not sustainable” and the authorities in these circumstances should withdraw the notice.
“The authorities assured that they would put on hold the notice which asks students to pay Annual Fee for the period November 2022 to March 2023,” the FFRC order reads.
The FFRC has stated that the management of any schools cannot stretch one academic year beyond a 12 months period.
“The period now starts from April 1 and ends on 31 March of the calendar year,” the order reads.
It reads that the five months period commencing from November 2022 to March 2023 were not part of the academic session and the students cannot be asked to pay annual fees for the period.
The FFRC has restrained the management of all private schools from charging and collecting annual fees for the period November 2022 to March 2023.
“Any breach of this order will result in initiating action according to law,” the order reads.