3 private schools in Ghaziabad have fined Rs 1 lakh for paying a fee, asked to give refunds
GHAZIABAD: Three private schools in Ghaziabad have been
find Rs 1 lakh each by the district fee regulation committee for
“arbitrarily hiking fee” in violation of the UP Self Financed
Independent Schools (Fixation of Fees) Act, 2018.
This is the first such decision in the state related to private school fee.
The three schools—DPS Indirapuram, Sun Valley International School (Vaishali) and Seth Anandram Jaipuria School (Sector 14, Vasundhara) — have also been barred from hiking fee in the academic session 2019-20. They have also been ordered to refund the excess fee they charged during the academic session 2018-19 and revert to the fee structure of 2017-18.
“The district fee regulation committee (DFRC) had recently met following a large number of complaints from parents that some private schools have been hiking fee in an arbitrary manner. In the first lot, cases against six schools have been taken up,” said Ritu Maheshwari, district magistrate, who also happens to be the chairperson of DFRC.
“The three schools have failed to produce required documents like balance sheet and were also found to be non-cooperative. So action has been taken against them as per the provisions of the Act,” said Maheshwari.
“We are in the process of computing excess fee these schools charged on each student. As per initial calculation, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School will have to refund between Rs 6,337 to Rs 6,933 per student, Sun Valley School between Rs 3,600 to Rs 4,800 per student depending on class,” said Maheshwari
Meeta Rai, principal, DPS Indirapuram, said she had no information about it and declined to speak further. “As of now, we have no information on the decision of DFRC,” she said.
Shivani Jain, president of All School Parents Association, who is also a part of DFRC, welcomed the decision. “For years, we have been seeking curbs on schools which have been unduly hiking fee under one head or the other, thereby putting undue burden on parents. DFRC’s decision should serve as a warning to schools which have ben indulging in hiking fee unlawfully.”
The state government last year promulgated an Act— UP Self Financed Independent Schools Fixation Fee Act, 2018 — to keep a check on unaided private schools in the state that arbitrarily hike fee.
A district-level committee (DFRC) was formed and vested with the powers of a civil court to decide on issues related to fee hike. The committee has representation from all stake-holders with the DM as its chairperson, district inspector of schools as its secretary, a chartered accountant, accounts officer, two members from school, parents association and executive engineer from PWD.
Explaining the working of committee, district inspector of schools, Pankaj Pandey, said as per the Act, there are two basic criteria which allow schools to hike fee. “By taking 2015-16 as base year, either per capita salary hike of teachers or consumer price index of 5%, either of which is lower side, could be employed to hike fee,” said Pandey.
“The proposal to hike fee has to be placed in front of district fee regulation committee which will assess the validity of such hike and only after it gives its go ahead that fee could be hiked,” added Pandey.