Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma has formed an enquiry committee comprising officials of the government and the divisional deputy director of the education department to look into rising complaints of a steep fee hike in schools across the state.
He said that the issue of fee hike by private schools without prior notice would be probed and they would have to roll back the decision soon. He said they will keep track of schools overcharging under such heads as building funds, transport, uniforms and stationary and would provide relief to the parents.
“Our priority is to provide quality education to the children across the state and we have directed them to provide 10% seats to poor students under Rule 134 A of the Haryana School Education Act and if any parent is facing problems, he/she should complain to the education officer or divisional commissioner and prompt action would be taken,” Sharma said.
The parents alleged that despite several meetings and protests no relief has been provided to them. Under Section 158 A, the fees and Fund Regulatory Committee(FFRC) should keep a strict vigil on schools and should ensure they submit Form 6 before January 6, failing which they cannot increase school fees. But the schools are violating the rules and regulations and still no action is being taken against them.
Parents of students from 40 private schools in the city, including DPSG, Ryan International, Salwan Public School, Blue Bells Model School, GD Goenka, Shiv Nadar and those of Faridabad schools, took part in the Aakrosh car rally that began from mini secretariat to Civil Lines. They handed over a memorandum to divisional commissioner D Suresh at his residence, Bhupinder Singh, a parent, said.
The All India Parents Forum for Education demanded that the government should enact a new law to give statutory status to The Fees and Fund Regulatory committee (FFRC). The body was formed under Section 158 A- of the Haryana School Education Act and comes under the authority of the divisional commissioner in Gurgaon.
“We have met the divisional commissioner several times but he has not paid any heed to our complaints. We will move to High Court after Sunday’s protest at Jantar Mantar and will hand over a memorandum to the Prime Minister, President and the chief minister of Harayana,” Ramesh Rana, president of AIPFE, said.
“We have been demanding clarity and transparency from schools on fee hike. Each year, they hike fees, but there’s been no improvement in facilities in place for the children. It’s becoming very difficult for us to provide good education to our children despite many sacrifices”, Dr. Akhilesh Patel a parent and member of the forum.
However, considering the current scenario where many parents in the state are up in arms over the fee hike by private schools, the state government will examine reasonable regulations that could be introduced.