Complaints against over 50 Pvt schools registered at DSEK: Officials
Srinagar, July 10: In a brazen violation of government norm, some private schools in Kashmir Valley are ‘compelling’ the parents to pay the pending tuition, transport and other miscellaneous charges.
The parents of those wards studying in various private schools alleged that the school management has threatened them of blocking their access to appear for the online examinations if they did not pay the pending tuition and other charges.
One of the parents told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that despite government orders, the private schools are charging tuition, transport as well as other miscellaneous fees.
“My three kids are studying at one of the leading private schools of Srinagar and in the name of tuition fee, the school is minting a hefty amount by charging tuition as well as miscellaneous fee,” he said, adding that the school is also demanding the transport fee of past one year.
“The school management is now demanding us to pay the transport fee from August-2019 when all schools were closed following the abrogation of Article-370,” he told KNO.
The parents also said that despite government directives not to charge any fee for the closed months of August and September last year, “the school management have refused to hand over the results of our wards till we pay the whole amount.”
Meanwhile, the official at Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) said, “Complaints against the management of more than fifty schools of charging transport and other miscellaneous charges have been registered. We will take strict action against the violators.
Another parent said that the school management has charged the fifty percent of transport fee besides the tuition charges.
“Since March-2020, the school is charging fifty percent of transport fee besides the tuition fee, however, there are clear directions from the government not to charge any fee apart from the tuition fee,” he said.
In May, the government directed recognized unaided private schools to charge only tuition fee on monthly basis instead quarterly basis for the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The government also ordered the private schools not to hike fee during the academic year 2020-21.
Principal Secretary to government for School Education Department, Asgar Samoon in a circular said, “Only tuition fees shall be charged from students on monthly basis instead quarterly basis for the lockdown period.”
Earlier in June, the government said that the private schools in Kashmir valley were violating the orders of Government Fee Fixation Committee (GFFC) by charging tuition fee as well as miscellaneous fee in the name of tuition fee.
The government had also warned the private schools of strict action in terms of relevant provisions of law in case of any violation found against the school management.
The order issued by the government in this regard stated that the administrative department has issued instructions to private schools in view of COVID-19 pandemic in Jammu and Kashmir with the directions that the last date of deposit school fees is extended up to April-30 without any late fees and no school shall either charge any fee for the online Lecturers or assignments or shall link the result of the child on the basis of home assignment.
DSEK Joint Director, Aabid Hussain said, “We have appointed the deputy Chief Education Officers (CEOs) and nodal officers and the complainants can register their grievances online or offline before them.”
He said that the parents can also register their complaints at DSEK headquarters. “Whosoever comes with a complaint here, we take cognizance and act accordingly,” Hussain said.