Private schools charge 'miscellaneous fee' amid covid lockdown

Many private schools are asking students to deposit “miscellaneous fee” at a time when the schools in the valley are closed for several months, parents complained on Tuesday.

The parents said the fee was being charged in complete violation of government directions wherein the schools were instructed to charge only tuition fee from the students.

However, the schools have been brazenly violating the directions and charging ‘other fee and miscellaneous charges’ from the students.

The parents said the schools were now denying online classes to the students who were not clearing both the tuition and the miscellaneous fee.

In May this year, the School Education department had directed the schools to charge only tuition fee on monthly basis from the students during the lockdown period. The department had directed the schools no to hike fee for the academic year 2020-21.

The schools were also instructed that no student should be denied access to the online classes and continuous assessment for not clearing the monthly fee of the school.

However, the instructions have remained confined to papers only as the private schools have started to charge fee than tuition fee.

With complaints continuing to pour in, Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has issued a circular, warning the private schools of strict action for violation of the directives.

“Some recognized private schools are still charging tuition fee as well as miscellaneous fee under the caption of tuition fee and also denying access to online education material/ classes/ continuous assessment for not paying tuition fee in spite of clear cut instructions circulated by this directorate in past,” reads a circular issued by Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik.

As per the circular, the Directorate has instructed all the recognized private schools to adhere to the instructions in letter and spirit.

“In case of any violation and non-seriousness, strict action shall be initiated against the particular schools in terms of relevant provisions of law which include de-recognition thereof without any further intimations,” the circular reads.