Madhya Pradesh is all set to enact a law to regulate school fees eight years after it prepared the first draft to clamp down on the practice of arbitrarily hiking fees by some private institutions.
State school education minister Vijay Shah confirmed HT that a bill incorporating the proposals of the fees regulation committee will be tabled during the winter session of the assembly commencing in December.
The final draft of the proposed Act has been prepared after comparing the fee structures of all private schools. The first draft was prepared in 2008.
“We had directed all private schools affiliated to CBSE and MP Board to submit their fee structures of the past three years to check the hike pattern. The final draft has been prepared. Getting the bill passed in the upcoming session of the state assembly is on our priority list,” said Shah.
While states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Delhi have already enacted the ‘Fees Regulation Act’, the Madhya Pradesh government has been mulling over the issue since 2008.
Several ministers in the past had committed to get the fees regulation bill passed. In May 2015, during the declaration of board results, former school education minister Paras Jain had announced forming fees regulation committee to enact the law.
Earlier in March this year, minister of state for school education Deepak Joshi too said that the Act would be enacted and implemented in the current academic session.
The current academic session is coming to an end with many schools holding their final examinations in February and March.
In 2008 a group of parents urged the school education department to enact a law to regulate the ‘exorbitant’ fee structure.
“Many private schools hike their fees arbitrarily. There is no fixed fee-hike rate despite several promises by government. We are still waiting for the Act. Since 2011, we have written to human resources department (HRD) ministry, additional chief secretary, state education ministers and to collectors. But no action has been taken in this regard till now,” said Pallak Mahasangh secretary Prabodh Pandhya.
“Following the guidelines of April 2015, most schools have hiked their fees by 10% but there are some school who have raised their fees by 15 to 18% and even more,” said Sojan Joseph, president , Sahodaya group of schools.
Benchmark for schools
The new fee structures will be fixed based on the grading given to schools
Facilities provided by a school will decide its fees and grading
Smart class, sports facilities, library, trained staff are the key pointers for allotment of grade to a school
A percentage has been fixed in the draft for a fee hike
A time frame for a hike is also stipulated in the draft.