A fortnight ago, to check the skyrocketing of fees in private schools, the Punjab and Haryana high court had ordered for committees to be constituted - for Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab - which would look into the reasons and justifications of the fee hike. But, the committee members, education department officials and some of the schools have received the high court orders only yesterday. The committees would look into the records of the schools for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 sessions.
According to sources in the UT education department, the Chandigarh committee would be finding out if a fees hike is warranted or not. The committee judge the fees hike against certain parameters and submit its report in the next six months, although this time frame has not been expressed directly.
For the UT, the committee would be headed by chief justice (retd) RS Mongia; a chartered accountant and a person from the field of educational would be the other members and would be decided only next week.
The parameters relative to which the committee would be judging the merits of fees hike include number of classes and sections within classes being run, infrastructure, fees at the entry level, teachers' salaries and other expenses, but most importantly the committee would be reviewing record and account books containing all the annual expenses and find out the reasonableness of increase in fees by the schools..
Ensuring the right flow of funds
One of the responsibilities of the committees, according to HC orders, is to ensure that the fees collected by schools from parents is not transferred from school funds to the society or trust that runs the schools.
On the other hand, the HC has allowed schools to hike fees and has permitted recognised unaided schools to set up a development fund account and charge students for the purpose, but such an exaction could not exceed 50% of the annual tuition fee.