Parents slam Delhi school bill

'Unjustified' fee hike by pvt schools draws ire

The Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill 2015 fails to address the unjustified fee hike by private schools, said a parents’ association on Monday.

To bring the issue to the notice, the All India Parents Association (AIPA) wrote to the Directorate of Education.

“Firstly, the amendment bill pre-supposes that fee-hike by private schools is per-se legal and valid, unless the same is challenged through a complaint and is set aside by the committee,” said the letter. 

Experts say that in some states the private unaided schools can only hike fee once in three years. “If we look at the existing Acts on private unaided school-fee regulation particularly the Tamil Nadu (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2009, there is a stipulation of prior approval by the committee before fee-hike and the said hiked fee, once approved, cannot be further hiked up to three years,” said advocate Ashok Agarwal, President, AIPA.

This bill has put the entire burden upon the complainant.
“Even after a complaint has been filed, there is enough room for delay as the school can file objections. The school shall thus continue to enjoy its free hand at least throughout the process which has enough scope for inordinate delays,” he added.

“It is expected that the Delhi’s Act should be advancement over Tamil Nadu Act and should surpass the benchmark set by Tamil Nadu. But this bill falls way short of even what Tamil Nadu has already achieved,” he added.

Educationalists say that the fee committee must be headed by a retired High Court Judge and not by Additional Director of Education.

“The committee suggested in this bill is a rather weak one compared to the Tamil Nadu model where a retired judge of the High Court heads the Committee,” said the letter. “The bill needs to be thoroughly reworked. It would be a rather better option to enact an independent legislation on fee–regulation on the lines of Tamil Nadu Act, even more robust and effective than Tamil Nadu.”

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