The UT education department officials are studying the compiled report with feedback from stakeholders so as to incorporate the same before sending the final draft to the UT advisor and administrator to UT.
Confirming the same, education secretary Sarvjit Singh told HT, “After making additions on the basis of justified feedback from stakeholders, we will finalise the policy by next week.” Sources said the education secretary and director of school education will also hold a meeting with UT advisor Parimal Rai to discuss some of the contentious issues that had come from school managements in this regard.
The education department after drafting the policy for regulation of fee hike in private schools had sought feedback from the public till June 30. The UT had drafted a policy in May to look into the fee hike by private schools, having failed to devise a ‘permanent mechanism’ as per Punjab and Haryana high court’s directions three years ago.
DEPARTMENT TAKES NOTE OF FEEDBACK
As per information, the department received 40 feedback letters, 27 of which were from private school managements and the remaining 13 from the public.
HT accessed a copy of the report containing the compiled feedback, out of which, sources revealed that five observations had been noted by Singh and director of school education Rubinderjit Singh Brar.
These include the 11-bench Supreme Court (SC) judgement in the TMA Pai case which states that private institutions had the right of autonomy and UT had no power to formulate a policy until it had gone through the Justice Mongia Committee’s report as it was a Parliamentarian Act.
Responding to the same, Singh said, “The administration allotted sites only to societies/trusts to provide avenues of good education for the residents of Chandigarh. In most of the allotment letters, it was made incumbent upon the school managements to follows directions issued by the administration from time to time, fee structure being one of them.”
“Therefore, the administration was well within its rights to prescribe a mechanism in larger public interest,” he added.
WHAT SCHOOLS SAY
Among the observations made by those who sent feedbacks, such as Vivek High School, Sector 38 and New Public School, Sector 18, have pointed out the SC judgement by 11 judges in TMA Pai case.
St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, said the CBSE does not have the mandate to interfere in the financial matters pertaining to schools affiliated to it.
Schools including Aanchal International School, Sector 40; Chitkara International School, Sector 45; have pointed out that since the Justice Mongia panel formed to look into fee increase had not yet come out with its report, a law could not be made. Playway Model (Smart) School, Sector 37, pointed that the draft policy was wrong in stating that land was allotted at concessional rate to schools, and as per the land allotment policy, schools had the freedom to charge admission fee, among other things.
Chitkara International School pointed out that the department had failed to include expenditures such as advertisement and publicity, housekeeping services, security, printing and stationary, medical facilities, conveyance in the policy. Similarly, AKSIPS-45 pointed out that the Income Tax Act provides under Section 10(23) C that 15% profits can be accumulated for meeting the objects of the trust/society.
Tender Heart School, Sector 33, said that unlike Haryana, which had Haryana School Education Act, 1995 and Haryana School Education Rules, 2003, there was no legislation governing education in Chandigarh. The letter stated that the Delhi High Court judgement was based on the Delhi Education Act, however the draft policy for UT, in the absence of any statutory law, was illegal and required legislative approval or an Education Act.
Schools such as St John’s High School, Sacred Heart, Carmel Convent, St Anne’s School, said they were entitled to have their own fee structure as long as there was no capitation fee referring to the TMA Pai case.