Softening its stand towards private schools, the government on Thursday issued guidelines instead of setting up a fee regulatory body for private schools in Madhya Pradesh.
The guidelines came after the high court pulled up the school education department for the delay in issuing the guidelines.
However, questions are being asked as to why the government took so long to take decision when the draft of fee regulation bill was ready.
“School education department had prepared draft for fee regulation during my tenure as minister. It did not materialise as that was the election year and such decisions were deferred due to model code of conduct,” said former school education minister Archana Chitnis while talking to HT.
According to the former minister the draft was prepared in 2011. She had even said this in the assembly session then.
Present school education minister Paras Jain avoided the question and said that guidelines have been issued on Thursday.
Additional chief secretary, school education, SR Mohanty denied that draft for fee regulation was prepared during earlier regime.
However, another government official, wishing not to be quoted, confirmed that the draft was prepared.
However, parents who had agitated after exorbitant fee hike by the schools now feel cheated.
“We were expecting a reasonably tough act that could bring quality education at affordable prices but the government has shown soft corner for private school managements by issuing only guidelines and not an act. We have been cheated,” said Nitesh Lal, coordinator of Shiksha Bachao Manch.
The Congress got an opportunity to attack the ruling BJP.
“Government is trying to fool the public by bringing in guidelines,” said state president of NSUI, Vivek Tripathi.
“We welcome the guidelines issued by the school education department; we are already following most of the things mentioned in guidelines except for a cap of 10% on fee hike. DA (dearness allowance) of the employees is increased by more than 10% every year. Therefore fees of the schools too should be allowed to increase in proportion to the hike in DA,” said PS Kalra, secretary, Private Unaided School Welfare Society.
Rules and regulations
Guidelines to apply to minority institutions also.
Private schools would be free to decide fees.
Admission fee should not be charged every year.
Capitation fee/ donation is banned but school development fee could be charged which should not be over one month’s tuition fee.
Audit report of the school should be displayed at its notice board and website.
Schools cannot hike fee by over 10% of the existing fee. Permission of fee regulatory committee would be required if more hike is demanded.
Late fee should not exceed 1% of payable amount.
No additional fees should be charged during ongoing session.
Parent- teacher association should be formed in all schools. Fee hike should be discussed first at this platform.
Admission form should be given free, at the most Rs 10 could be charged.
All schools should have websites where all information like fee and other charges, teacher’s salary, etc should be displayed.
Books, uniforms etc should be available with at least 3 shops.
Any objections to hike in fees should be referred to district/division/state fee regulatory committee.