Will not allow private schools in Delhi to hike fee arbitrarily: Manish Sisodia
Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said the government will not allow private schools in the city to hike their fee “arbitrarily” in the garb of the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.
Sisodia’s comment came a day after the Delhi high court barred private schools built on public land from raising their fee until April 8, the next date of hearing on a petition challenging a March 15 order by a single judge that allowed the increase.
“Unjustified fee hike by some private schools has nothing to do with the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission for teachers working in private schools. These schools have also tried to spread lies against the Delhi government saying we are against the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission. It is completely baseless,” he said.
The Delhi government, through a circular issued on April 13, 2018, had restrained private unaided schools built on government land from hiking tuition fee without the approval of the Directorate of Education (DoE). The circular had directed private schools to meet the additional financial resources required to implement the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations from their surplus without hiking the fee.
“The reasons for this restriction are two: first, these schools are situated on the land allotted by the DDA and, therefore, they (schools) have certain societal obligations; second, the government is against the exploitation of parents and students in the form of a higher fee structure,” Sisodia said.
According to the land lease agreements of around 325 schools built on government land, they cannot increase fee without a prior approval from the DoE. Once a proposal is sent, the DoE will audit the school’s finances and it will be allowed to increase the fee only if the institute is found to be struggling to manage its expenses.
“Of the 260 schools that applied for permission to hike fee, 32 have withdrew their applications. During audit of accounts, it was found that nearly 150 schools had sufficient surplus to implement the Seventh Pay Commission and were therefore denied permission to hike fee. There are schools with excess surplus of up to ₹40 crore after factoring in the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission,” he said.