SRINAGAR: Waking up to fleecing and harassment by educational institutions, Jammu and Kashmir government has put nine top private schools on notice for compelling parents to clear the miscellaneous charges in violation of administrative guidelines.
Directorate of School Education has served notices to Iqbal Memorial School, Bemina, Doon International School, HMT, Delhi Public School, Srinagar, Holy Faith School, Rawalpora, Minto Circle School, Aloochi Bagh, Hat Trick Public School, Zakura, Tiny Hearts School, Tengpora, Green Valley Educational Institute, Buchpora, and GD Goenka School, Lal Bazar.
“The complaints are pouring in that the school authorities are still charging undue dues and subsequently withholding the assignment of the students in question and compelling to clear the miscellaneous charges which are in violation of the instructions already issued by the Administrative Department during COVID- 19 pandemic,” said the order issued by the Director of Education.
According to the order, only tuition fees shall be charged from the students on a monthly basis instead of a quarterly basis for the lockdown period.
“No fee hike shall be made during the academic session 2020-21. Annual fee, if any can be charged monthly on a pro-rata basis after schools reopen. No school shall deny access to online education material/Classes/ continuous assessment to poor deserving students unable to pay school fees due to prevailing situation,” the order said
The department has threatened to derecognize the schools without further notice, if the order is not complied with in toto.
“In view of the above facts and taking note of the circumstances, it is impressed upon all recognized Private Schools of Kashmir Valley to stop charging miscellaneous charges for the session 2019-20 and 2020-21 from the parents henceforth and charge only tuition fee approved by the Fee Fixation Committee as already instructed vide series of circulars issued on this behalf either by the administrative department or this Directorate. The excess fee if any collected from the parents as reported by the Parents Association of Private Schools shall be adjusted in the tuition fee accordingly; incase any default in implementing the government instructions as mentioned above, strict action shall be initiated as per the provision of law which includes de-recognition of the school in terms of standing norms without further intimation,” the order said.
Earlier, a delegation of the Parents Association of Private Schools approached the directorate of education and apprised that the situation has worsen as the school authorities are forcing parents to clear their unpaid dues till May 2021 and are also asking for payment of annual/bus fee.