Education Department to meet on allowing 6% hike in annual fee of private schools
Srinagar: The School Education Department is scheduled to convene a meeting on allowing private schools to hike their annual fee by six percent every year.
The move comes in the wake of the demand of private schools to allow an increase in the annual fee of the schools to enable them to meet the school expenses besides giving an annual hike to the salary of the school staff as well.
The School Fee Fixation Committee (SFFC) in January 2019 had allowed private schools to hike the tuition fee by six percent.
In the order, the SFFC said that the six percent hike was to be given to the fee structure which was in place in August 2018.
However, the order was revoked by the J&K government in February 2021 amid massive complaints against the private schools for arbitrary hikes in the fees.
For the last two years, the private school body and the School Education Department are at loggerheads over the functioning of the private educational institutions.
The Private School Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) complained that the government was choking the space of the private education sector in J&K.
“We have repeatedly urged the government to consider our demands and allow the private sector to flourish in J&K. For the last two years, the private education sector was badly hit owing to the suspension of offline classwork. We were not allowed to hike the fee or to collect the fee from the students,” PSAJK President GhulamNabiVar told Greater Kashmir.
He said that the associations of private schools would jointly raise their issues with the government in a meeting scheduled on January 12 in Jammu.
The Principal Secretary School Education Department is scheduled to convene a meeting with the PSAJK and other private schools bodies besides other stakeholders to examine the demands of the PSAJK and other private school bodies.
The meeting has been scheduled after a representation was submitted by the Unaided Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir to the J&K government to address their demands.
“It is the submission of the association that the proposed amendments may be considered and J&K Education Act 2002 be accordingly amended. If the amendments are agreed to, many of the litigations will stand resolved,” the representation reads.
The association has sought the inclusion of its two representatives with the committee to be consulted while making amendments in the J&K Education Act.
Over the last two years, the educational institutions shifted to e-mode owing to which controversies erupted over the collection of fees from the students.
The government issued repeated circulars to the schools directing them to collect only tuition fees from the students.
To date, the decision over the collection of transport fees has not been made by the government.
As per the notice issued by the Director of School Education Jammu (DSEJ), Principal Secretary SED is scheduled to convene a meeting for consultation with the main stakeholders of the Private Unaided Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir on January 12 at the Teacher Bhawan in Jammu.
The meeting would discuss restoration of order No 1-FFC of 2019 dated January 28, 2019, which allows an increase of school fees by 6 percent per annum.
“The order was revoked on February 18, 2021, without consultation of the stakeholders,” the notice reads.
The meeting would also discuss the hike in school fees by eight to 10 percent every year at par with neighboring states that include Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Uttar Pradesh.
“The meeting will be convened to revisit the draft J&K Private Schools Fixation Determination and Regulation of Fee, Rules, 2021 in consultation with the concerned stakeholders,” the notice reads.
The meeting would be attended by Director School Education Kashmir, Chief Education Officer Jammu. Principal DIET Jammu, President Private Unaided Schools Association J&K, President, Private Schools Association J&K, President CBSE Schools Association J&K, President Low Budget Schools Association J&K, and Parents Associations of Private Schools J&K.