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Parents’ associations in Ghaziabad protest against fee regulation draft bill

Complain of the draft bill giving a miss to many demands from 24-point agenda discussed with state officials and ministers in Lucknow

noida Updated: Dec 18, 2017 00:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
the Uttar Pradesh Self-Financed Independent Schools (Regulation of Fees) Bill 2017,Ghaziabad parents school fee hike protest,Ghaziabad schools
Members of various parents’ associations led a protest march, on Sunday. from Lohiya Nagar to the district headquarters against alleged ambiguities in the bill to regulate fee charged by private schools in the state. (Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

Members of various parents’ associations on Sunday held a protest march to highlight alleged ambiguities in the draft of the Uttar Pradesh Self-Financed Independent Schools (Regulation of Fees) Bill 2017.

The parents marched from Lohiya Nagar to the district headquarters where they raised slogans and also discussed various issues pertaining to the proposed draft.

The parents’ bodies said that they had held three meetings with state officials and several ministers in Lucknow and a 24-point agenda was discussed. However, they said that none of their points were incorporated in the draft.

“It has been our demand for audit of accounts of the schools. There is no such provision in the draft bill. In the draft, the schools can decide the fee hike and will later approach a zonal fee monitoring committee for approval,” Neeraj Bhatnagar, spokesperson of All India Parents Association, said.

According to the draft, schools charging Rs20,000 or more as annual fee will fall under the ambit of the regulation.

Bhatnagar added that there’s ambiguity on whether Rs20,000 is the limit of just the tuition fee or other charges are also included in this figure. “Further, there is also an ambiguity on how the Rs20,000-limit was fixed. We want to know the criterion. We will start uploading our objections from Monday and each objection should be addressed before the regulation comes into force,” he said.

The department of secondary education has released the draft bill on its website for feedback from various stakeholders till December 22.

Vice-president of Ghaziabad parents’ association Anil Singh said, “The draft has a provision of admission fee, minimum of Rs25,000, each time a child progresses to class VI, IX and XI of the same school. Why should we pay admission fee three times for re-admission in the same school? Further, the maximum limit is also not defined which may lead schools to charge hefty amounts.”

Singh added that parents’ object to the commissioner, and not the court, resolving all disputes.

“The draft says the matter will be taken to the commissioner who can further send it for legal recourse. This is depriving the parents of their right to seek legal recourse. The draft has many points which are still not clear and the protest was to urge parents to send as many suggestions as necessary before the draft is finalised,” he said.

The draft bill was introduced on December 8 to regulate private school fees from the coming academic session. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered regulation of fees charged by schools immediately after taking over the reins of the state on March 19, 2017.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 00:07 IST