Uttar Pradesh cabinet approves ordinance to regulate private school fees
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved an ordinance to regulate the fees being charged by private schools, including minority institutions, affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and the UP Board of Secondary Education.
The cabinet led by chief minister Yogi Adityanath also decided to prorogue the two houses of the state assembly following end of the budget session. The provisions of the proposed Uttar Pradesh Swavitt Poshit Swatantra Vidyalaya (regulation of fees) Ordinance 2018 would affect all private schools that have enrolled students in Classes 1 to 12 and charge more than Rs 20,000 per annum as fees. Pre-schools are outside the ambit of the ordinance.
A regulatory committee headed by a divisional commissioner with representatives of parents and school managements will be constituted with its members having two-year tenure. The schools would be penalized for violation of rules. A fine of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh will be levied on schools for their first and second violations while a third strike will lead to derecognition.
Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma told reporters the decision was a revolutionary step to provide relief to students. He said the proposed law would be implemented from the 2018-2019 academic session. The proposed law was formulated in accordance with the orders of Supreme Court of India on the issue, he added.
Under the ordinance, schools will have to adopt a transparent system for charging fees, including registration, admission and examination. As there were complaints of schools charging exorbitant fees in the name of transportation, hostel, mess, educational tours etc. without providing facilities to the students, the proposed law makes payment of these fees optional.
Sharma said schools would not be allowed to increase the fees or change the uniform for five years and the fees charged by private schools in 2015-2016 would form the basis for implementing the regulations.
Sharma said a hike of not more than 7 to 8 percent may be allowed by the divisional regulatory committee based on the consumer price index and increase in salaries of staff and teachers etc. He said the schools will have to display on their website the fees to be charged from students 60 days before commencement of the academic session. He said schools would not be allowed to charge the fees for the full academic year in one go and have to take payments on a quarterly basis.