Peppered with threat of jail and hefty fine, the Uttarakhand government will bring in a much-awaited bill during the winter session of the assembly to cap fees charged by private schools in the state.
Some of the high-brow private day schools charge fees as high as Rs 5,000 a month with whimsical upward hikes, and add-ons. Fees of boarding schools are much higher.
“The proposed Fee Control and Disposal of Complaints Bill will be introduced in the state assembly’s coming session to be held at Gairsain in November,” said Surendra Kumar, the chief minister’s media in-charge.
“Those managing privately run schools, if caught flouting the proposed law, will be fined up to Rs 1 lakh or might even face a jail term,” said Kumar.
Tamil Nadu had passed a similar law in 2009. New Delhi is also on the way to introduce such a law to monitor and control fees charged by private schools.
MC Joshi, the secretary in school education department, said the government might also consider enforcing an ordinance to regulate the fee structure of the private schools.
“That (ordinance) option would be exercised only if it won’t be possible for us to enact the proposed Fee Control and Disposal of Complaints Act in the next assembly session,” he said.
“Under the proposed law currently being formulated, the fee structure of the privately run schools will be decided by an authority,” Joshi said.
The proposed panel would be named Fee Control and Disposal of Complaints Authority. The authority would have seven members on the panel and would be headed by a retired judge.
Joshi said the proposed law would also have a provision for an appellate authority. He allayed fears that the proposed law might be used against the owners of private schools.