Gujarat House passes bill to check exorbitant school fees

Gujarat House passes bill to check exorbitant school fees
The Gujarat Assembly on Thursday passed a law to prevent private schools from charging exorbitant fees in primary, secondary and higher secondary education. The new bill – Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Bill, 2017, – fixes the tuition fees for primary schools at Rs 15,000 per annum, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 per annum for higher secondary school students.

“For those who have already paid term fees for academic year 2017-18, the bill has provision for adjustment in the next term,” Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told mediapersons.

The new fee structure would be binding not only on schools offering the state education board curriculum but also those affiliated to CBSE, ISCE and international baccalaureate boards. The bill provides for setting up of a fee regulatory committee, headed by a retired district and sessions court judge or an IAS or IPS official, a government nominated chartered accountant, representative of a private school management and an academician.

The bill states the schools will not be able to charge any other fee, be it for library, laboratory, examination or admission, other than that fixed by the committee. It also states that the term fee – which is charged twice a year – and the admission fee cannot be higher than a month’s tuition fee. However, if they do intend to charge higher fees, the schools will need to submit their book of accounts to the committee for approval.

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