Pvt schools’ fee hike row: ‘School accounts lack clarity’

  • Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2016 13:41 IST
Parents protesting against DAV School authorities in Amritsar on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

As the education department continues to make surprise checks in schools, officials say the documents they were being provided by the educational institutions “were not transparent”.

A team of the district education office visited DAV International School and Holy Heart Presidency on Wednesday and went through their accounts and other records.

Talking to HT after inspection that lasted for three hours at the DAV International School, district science supervisor Sudeep Kaur said, “I checked the accounts, balance sheets and fee records of DAV International. The management of the school also runs a school at Attari. There are inconsistencies in the financial records of the schools.”

On Tuesday, the officials checked records of more than five schools. The drive will continue on Thursday.

Dual taxing in development’s name

Officials said DAV International has about 5,000 students and ‘pupil fund’ of Rs 10,320 is being charged from each student. The school management are charges development fund of Rs 2,400 and building fund of Rs 2,400. The annual hike is around 9%. “We know they charge readmission fee, but there is no clear records of that. This needs in-depth scrutiny,” Sudeep Kaur said.

Balance sheets will clear picture

“It is not an easy exercise. After checking records of four schools, I can say that they have roped in smart chartered accountants who have been successful in not letting us understand the bifurcation of funds as there is not much transparency. Our duty is to submit a report to the deputy commissioner so that guidelines can be laid down for fee structures and other charges,” Kaur said.

She also interacted with students and got the feedback that they were being fleeced as they pay more the MRPs on books, stationery. The students said science students have to pay practical fee and computer fee is about Rs 1,900.

Protests continue

Parents continued with the agitation on Wednesday as they staged a protest outside DAV Public School, accusing the management of fleecing them.

Raising slogans against the school management, parents alleged that authorities were unconcerned about their plight.

Notably, the protests are widespread in the city for the past ten days. Parents of students studying in almost all schools have complaints of overcharging and sundry charges. The protests have caught the attention of government that has asked the administration to find a solution.

Members of parents association will meet local bodies minister Anil Joshi again on Thursday. DEO Satinder Bir Singh has also been called for the in the meeting.

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