Parents of Gautam Budh Nagar district, who have been waging a long-standing war against the arbitrary charging of fee by private schools, now have something to cheer about. Divisional commissioner, Meerut, Alok Sinha, ordered that the fee charged by these schools under some heads is illegal.
Sinha asked NP Singh, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, to check whether private schools were collecting fee under heads such as caution money, building fund, capitation fee, annual fee, etc.
“Fee structures are clearly specified. Over and above that, private schools cannot impose any other fees on students. If they do so, that is illegal,” Sinha said.
He added that the arbitrary decision to increase fees by 10% to 15% every year is unjustified and that there should be a check such practices.
Parents have held protests and demonstrations against the arbitrary hike and submitted representations to every official, right from the district level, up to the Centre.
A fortnight ago, a group of parents from Noida met Sinha and submitted a memorandum seeking his intervention.
“We are hopeful after the meeting with the divisional commissioner. There is likely to be some positive action,” said a parent. She added that this is a major achievement for all of them. “We have been fighting since April this year. In fact, we protested even before the summer vacations began. After the schools opened, we resumed the protest again, but later we realised this will not help and so we decided to meet Sinha,” said another parent.
Singh, however, said he did not receive a letter. He added that he wrote to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to take appropriate action against schools for hiking the fee in unjustified manner. He added that he found the parents’ complaints to be genuine and so decided to act.