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Private schools can charge drivers’ salary during vacations: DSEK

Srinagar, Dec 23: Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has allowed private schools of the valley to charge from the parents the tuition and the drivers’ salary component in transportation fee during the ongoing vacations.

Director School Education, Dr GN Itoo, as per a statement on Sunday, said that “private schools can charge tuition and transport facilities from the parents for winter vacations only when they are giving the salary to the teachers and drivers for these months.”

“During vacation period fee is to be charged only for the services which are being utilized by the students and no other fee can be charged. Schools can charge only tuition fee in case of teachers and salary of drivers in case of transport. No heating charges can be recovered from students when these services are not being used by students during vacation period,” read the DSEK statement.

Asked how private schools can charge the transport fee when the service is not used by students, Dr Itoo told The Kashmir Monitor that the schools can “only charge the drivers’ salary component from the parents and not the fuel component.”

“They have to pay the salaries to the drivers, they cannot lay them off,” he said.

Khurshid A Ganai, Advisor to Governor, School Education said: “I am coming to Srinagar tomorrow (Monday) and will relook at the DSEK circular.”

Director Itoo, as per the statement, also warned the private schools of action under norms who are demanding lump sum fee and the charges for heating and transport facilities for the time when these facilities are not being provided by the school.

In this regard DSEK has issued a circular vide no. DSEK/PS/523, dated: 22-12-2018 and made such erring Institutions answerable and apprised the Government about the matter.

The circular reads as, “No school can force the parents to pay fee in one go. The school fee, as per norms, is to be paid only in monthly instalments including for vacation period.”

The Jammu and Kashmir Joint Coordination Committee of Private Schools has assured Director School Education Kashmir that the rules and regulations of the Department shall be followed by all the private schools and the Coordination Committee shall stand by the side of the Department in taking any action against any private school violating these norms.