Govt bans capitation fee

The J&K government has imposed a ban on capitation fee or donation charged by private schools on admission.

Principal Secretary, School Education Eepartment, Asgar Samoon issued an order in this regard on Friday.

The order reads: “It is hereby ordered that no private school or person while admitting a child shall collect any admission fee from any child or his or her parents or guardians.

“Any such fee if already collected in violation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 from the date of its applicability i.e. October 31 of 2019 should be refunded with immediate effect. Otherwise action under section 13 of Act shall be initiated forthwith besides cancelling recognition of the said schools.”

The order further states that the School Fee Fixation Committee (SFFC) mandated to regulate the fee structure in private schools has already ordered that that private schools shall only charge tuition fee, annual fee, transport fee, voluntary special purpose fee, or any other fee as may be approved by committee after following the due procedure.

“The committee ordered that school should not charge in any manner, any other fee including admission fee,” the order reads.

“Whereas by virtue of J&K Re-organization Act 2019 the right of children to free and compulsory education Act 2009 (Act) has been made applicable in J&K UT, the section 13 of Act imposes and embargo on charging of admission fee and provided for its punishment as well,” the order reads.

Notably, the section 13 of the Act states no school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect capitation fee and subject the child or his/her parents or guardian to any screening procedure.

It states that any school or person if in contravention of the provisions of sub-section-1 receives capitation fee shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten time the capitation fee charged.

“Any school which subjects a child to a screening procedure shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to twenty five thousand rupees for the first contravention and fifty thousand for each subsequent contravention,” the order reads while referring to the section 13 of Act.