Only five private schools in the Capital can increase their annual charges in the next academic session as the Delhi government rejected fee hike requests of all other schools built on Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land.
There are around 1,700 private unaided recognised schools out of which 410 are built on DDA land. The lease requires them to seek the government’s approval before hiking their annual fees.
Government sources said only 168 schools submitted proposals for a fee hike after which CAG-empanelled chartered accountants reviewed their financial statements for the last three years. Twenty-eight schools withdrew their fee hike request.
Fee hike requests from some of the big schools such as Delhi Public School RK Puram, Rohini and Dwarka, Ahlcon International School, Mira Model School and Father Agnel School were rejected after it was found they had sufficient funds, sources said.
“It shows the malpractices schools have been doing by increasing fees yearly and putting unreasonable pressure on parents,” a government official told HT on condition of anonymity.
The government had in the past received complaints from parents regarding arbitrary fee hikes by schools.
According to the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973, private schools cannot increase fees if it is not required. “Most schools hike fee, saying it is required for the development of school. But we found schools transfer their profits to the society running them or buy land for new schools,” sources said.
There is a Supreme Court ruling that says schools can only keep 15% of savings as reserve. Government rules say schools can only hike fee when the reserve is over.
“Education is run on a ‘no profit and no loss basis’. If you collect R 1 crore as fees, you should be spending it back on students. If you are left with some money then you can only save 15% of that as reserve. And fee will be hiked only if you have spent that also on education,” the official said.
The government had formed a project management unit (PMU) at the directorate of education (DOE) in which a private firm was also involved.
“One CA checked accounts of one school. They submitted reports to PMU. The PMU verified it and submitted a final report based on which government decided to allow five small schools in bad financial condition to hike fee,” sources said.
Ten CAs have been blacklisted after the PMU found there were discrepancies in their reports.