Fee hike- Unregulated private schools continue manipulating law

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Year after year, the month of March (In Shimla) witnesses’ news of unprecedented fee hike by private schools of the city. Courts of law, State government, the local administrations and various parent forums together have failed to get fee hike regulated by these institutions. Even as a court order barred schools from increasing fee under ‘X’ head, these institutions found ways to hike it under ‘Y’ head, thus leaving the system helpless. When in the light of the order the schools were barred from charging fees under heads ‘Building fund’ and ‘Re admission’, the schools found another way. Instead the schools removed these two heads from their fee booklet and added the amount under other heads like, annual charges, Tution fee, smart classroom fee, mobile message fee, etc.

Wherein (After the court order) it was expected that removal of ‘Building fund’ and ‘admission fee’, the annual charges would be reduced, nothing changed. Now the schools adjusted the charges of the two banned heads into other expenses, thus keeping the fee same. Rather as per reports the fee continues to increase by 10 to 15% annually, without any valid justification. Adding to plight, one notices that instead of reduced fee with growing classes, it increases.

In Shimla Private School student parents’ forum has now alleged that the state government is conniving with private schools for supporting this unregulated fee hike. They said that the state government should take up the matter more seriously and regulate these institutions by way of firm policy. In its first year to state government the BJP had promised a Private Educational Institution Regulatory Amendment Bill, 2018 but the same was never tabled, thus supporting these allegations.

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