After series of protests by parents against private schools for overcharging, the fee committee has shot off a letter to the director public instructions (DPI secondary), secretary Punjab School Education Board and district education officers (DEOs) directing them to tighten the noose on institutes violating the high court guidelines.
The letter dated March 28 was sent to the DEOs the on April 12 when the admission process in schools was about to end.
The fee committee has directed the DPI and school board secretary to issue the instructions to all schools in the state against charging admission/upgrade fee, non-issuance of receipts and forcing the parents to buy books from recommended book shops.
The letter signed by committee chairman justice Amar Dutt reads: “It has been brought to the notice of the fee committee by parents that the management of most of the schools do not make available voluntarily list of books along with name of the writer and publisher which are going to be prescribed for various classes so that the children can purchase these books from a seller of their choice.”
The letter states that the parents were being harassed and book sellers were resorting to monopolistic tendencies. The letter also mentions that the schools cannot charge re-admission fee. “It has been brought to our notice that some schools are charging admission/upgrade fee from the students already studying in their institution. This malpractice can only be cured by your intervention,” the letter reads.
Parents had also alleged that schools were charging fee under different heads but were not issuing any receipts. The letter says: “It has also come to the notice that some of the schools are not issuing receipts giving details of fee charged under different heads. Such practices do not in any way enhance the reputation of schools as well as the education department.”
Panel holds meeting with four schools
The committee on Friday also held a meeting with four schools from the state in which management of a private school from Nakodar — Indo Sweet International Convent School — was called with two schools from Faridkot and Sangrur. Sources said regular meetings were being held with school managements for the past over two years, but no action has been taken against schools, expect against Bal Bharti School, Ludhiana. A number of complaints against schools are pending with committee. “The committee receives a number of complaints against schools every day, but no action has been taken against schools to date,” said an official.