Srinagar: The Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) for private schools has ordered that no private school is allowed to create impediments in the pursuit of education of children for non-payment of monthly dues.
However, the committee has stated that the management of the private schools are within their rights to seek recovery of the unpaid fees in accordance with law.
The order was issued after the FFRC was flooded with complaints against private schools for allegedly forcing the parents to “comply with illegal demands in violation of the Supreme Court judgments.” “The schools were asking parents to deposit huge/small amounts as refundable deposits besides forcing them to pay advance tuition fees either for six months or for whole year,” the FFRC order reads.
“Parents are being threatened that their wards will be deprived of all the schooling facilities in case the pending fee is not cleared,” it reads. The committee has ordered that the schools cannot demand any amount whether small or big in the name of refundable fee and has barred the institutions from collecting advance tuition fee beyond the period of one month.
“The private schools shall not charge any fee from the students or guardians, except tuition fee, annual fee, transport fee and voluntary special purpose fee such as the picnic, tour and excursions which is completely voluntary in nature or any other fee as may be approved by the Committee,” the order reads. The committee order has also stated that the private schools will not charge any other fee including admission fee or any amount by whatever name called than the permissible fee.
“Refundable fee is not legally permissible, so can neither be demanded nor collected. Tuition fee is being charged and collected for meeting the recurring expenses which include salary of staff, electricity charges and water charges,” it reads.
The committee has stated that the school managements cannot in law and on any moral justification pressurize the students or the guardians to pay tuition fee in advance for six months or for the whole year.
“Such a demand by some of the school managements, being not in consonance with settled norms of charging and collecting tuition fee, cannot be permitted to be practised by the school managements,” the order reads. The fee committee has however acknowledged that the affairs of the private schools are being run on the finances generated in the shape of collecting different types of legally permissible fees.
“It is the duty of the parents and guardians to pay a legally permissible fee to the school to enable it to provide quality education to the students,” the order reads.
Referring to the post August 5 of 2019 situation and the Covid-19 lockdown, the FFRC chairman in his order has stated that the class of government employees and big business concerns were not impacted by the lockdown.
“Such people are under moral and legal obligation to clear the legally permissible fee dues of their wards. Most of the school managements in case of deserving guardians and parents, have made concessions in fee and in some cases have even fixed easy installments for payment of all such dues,” the order said.