Soon, a law to regulate fee structure in Uttarakhand’s private schools | Hindustan Times
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Soon, a law to regulate fee structure in Uttarakhand’s private schools

State education minister Arvind Pandey didn’t specify any time frame but said that it would be done soon

dehradun Updated: Jan 29, 2018 22:42 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Uttarakhand education and sports minister Arvind Pandey.
Uttarakhand education and sports minister Arvind Pandey.(HT Photo)

Uttarakhand government is mulling to bring a law to regularise tuition fee in the private schools, state school education minister Arvind Pandey said Monday. The minister, however, didn’t specify any timeframe, but added that it would be done soon.

“We are working on finalizing modalities of the bill. I cannot tell you how much time it would take but let me assure you that the (fee) bill will be tabled,” Pandey said in a meet the press held at local press club.

This is not the first time when a government in Uttarakhand has announced a bill or a law to regularise fee structure in the private schools. The previous Congress government too had tried to introduce a bill to regularise private schools. However, owing to strong opposition from the schools, the government had to go on backfoot.

Uttarakhand is home to some of the well known public schools, located in Nainital, Dehradun and Mussoorie with an alumni body that is virtual who’s who of the entertainment industry, authors and political bigwigs.

It was the All Uttarakhand Parents Association (AUPA) – an umbrella body of the parents whose children are studying in the public schools — that raised voice against the exorbitant fee structure and additional expenses charged by the schools. They even moved the High Court seeking remedy.

Uttarakhand has three types of unaided public schools – only for day scholars, only residential, and residential-cum-day boarding schools. Nearly 650 unaided public schools are currently functional in the hill state and are affiliated with Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Maximum of them are in Doon valley — 124 affiliated with CBSE and 72 affiliated with ICSE board.

Some of the unaided schools date back to the 19th century while several have come up in last four decades. Recently, a couple of international schools have also opened up their branches in Dehradun and surroundings.

The school education minister is confident that he will be able to introduce the bill despite ‘hurdles’. He said that when he can “force CBSE-run schools to introduce National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books” then he can “also make sure that they follow a fee structure”.

The minister claimed that from the next academic session all the schools, be it government or private, will teach students from the NCERT books.

“The officials will be held responsible if books other than NCERT’s are found in the schools,” he added.

Asked why NCERT books have been made mandatory for the CBSE-run schools but not applicable on ICSE schools, which are in a large number in state capital, the minister said, “Dehradun is not Uttarakhand”.

Private Unaided Schools Association (PUSA) – an organisation formed by the school owners— had repeatedly opposed any move to ‘control schools’.

ICE SKATING RINK – MAKBARA

Taking a jibe at the ice skating rink that stands idle at the Maharana Pratap Sports College, state school education minister Arvind Pandey said, “It is a tomb dedicated to the person who conceptualized it. Pandey also holds the portfolio of sports. The rink was constructed in 2010 when BJP government was in power. Pandey claimed that the government has taken various cricket organizations into confidence and the state shall soon get the BCCI affiliation.