Accusing Amritsar deputy commissioner Varun Roojam and district education officer (DEO, secondary education) Satinder Bir Singh of showing laxity in the ongoing school fee row, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has given them 15 days to resolve the issue.
Commission vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka had summoned the two officials on Friday. In Roojam’s absence, the DEO admitted before the commission that there are about 10 prominent schools in the city that are defying the administration’s orders and fleecing parents in the name of re-admission fee, developmental funds and other charges.
Verka pulled up the DEO and questioned him that why has the administration failed to issue notices to schools for not following the orders. He also questioned that when the district administration was claiming not to have any power to regulate the fee structure of private schools, why were the officials holding meetings and issuing orders at the first place.
Verka, who also met protesting parents, said he has called a meeting with the Punjab education department officials to discuss the issue on June 6.
Talking on the condition of anonymity, a district education department official said political pressure was stopping them from issuing notices to schools. He said the first order issued on April 28 should have been enough to resolve the issue, but after parents’ associations put pressure on the administration, the DEO had to issue another letter. The official said they are being cornered from every direction, while the solution lies in the hands of the state government, which should create a regulatory body.