Government faces criticism for allowing schools to charge during winters

1 min read

Srinagar: The government’s order of allowing private schools of the valley to charge for the tuition and transportation fee from students during the ongoing vacations has drawn flak from the parents.

Director School Education Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo, on Sunday issued an order asking private schools to demand tuition and transportation charges during winters if only they were to give salaries to the teachers and drivers.

However, the order has drawn criticism, with parents saying that they were not taken on board.

Convener Parents Association of Privately Administered School (PAPAS), Asma Goni, said private schools have been telling the government that they have to pay the salary to the staff and the bus drivers.

“The government has to check the gross and net profit of schools before taking any decision. Our schools remain open for a few months only, but the students are being charged for entire year,” she said.

Opposing the order, she said t it was not possible to keep the schools open during winters in Kashmir.

“There is no heating arrangement; how is it possible to keep schools open during winters?” she asked.

She said there was no “accountability” in fixing the fee in private schools.

“Fee fixation committee is not working at all,” she claimed.

“There has to be parents involvement before taking any decision related to fixation of fee. But there is no transparency.”

She demanded implementation of law for parent association in every school.

Bashir Ahmad, whose two children are studying one of the schools at Rajbagh here, said, “We don’t know for which we have to pay the tuition fees when schools remain closed.”

President Private Schools Association of Kashmir (PSAK), G N Var, said the order was issued in the interest of the public.

“Education is not for the business. Winter remedial classes are needed as we have very less working classes in Kashmir,” Var said.

“This order is an optional one. Schools can’t force students to come to schools during winters. There will be charges for heating and stationery only.”

Chairman Fee Fixation Committee, Imtiyaz Hussain, said he does not have any knowledge of this order.

Khurshid A Ganai, Advisor to Governor, School Education has said he will look into the matter.

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