Shimla, Jun 24
Giving suggestion to make the HP Private schools (fee & Other related issues) act 2021 ‘ a cut above’ Chatr Abhibhavak Manch has demanded for regulation of fees and other activities in the 3415 pvt schools of state to help as many as six lakh students, ten lakh parents and about 20 per cent population of the state.
In a memorandum submitted to the Director Higher education here today convener Vijender Mehra while drawing attention of the department over the issues of education impacting about seventeen lakh people demanded that the monopoly of private schools to charge exorbitant fees, commission on books and uniforms, non transparent admission process and other such affairs should come to an end.
“We hope and believe that the department would considers these suggestions while enacting the HP Private schools (fee & Other related issues) act 2021,” stated Mehra. Firstly the act should be renamed as HP private schools (fee, syllabus, admission process and other related issues) act 2021, instead of HP Private schools (fee & Other related issues) act 2021. Mehra said that legislation in its core values should mainly address the issue of fee, admission, syllabus and other related in a time bound manner.
He demanded that an independent body on the lines of Himachal Pradesh State Education Institutions Regulatory Commission should be constituted to address the complaints and grievances of students or parents getting education in private schools.
He also stated that the power to hear the issues of private education institutions should be transferred from the committee presided by the deputy commissioner to the departmental officers who could have greater experience and qualifications to understand and sort out the grievances of students and parents.
The role of PTA in the fixation of fee structure should be strengthened to have greater say for parents for ending the monopoly of school management to fix and enhance the fee structure on their whim and fancies. Besides 90 percent of private schools did not constitute a working PTA, he added.
He said that despite issuing a notification in 2019 to convene the general house of PTA in the chairmanship of school principal and headmaster many institutions did not abide by the notification. Moreover, the Union Human Resources Development Ministry also issued a similar notification in 2014. Notification provides greater say of parents in the PTA as 75 per cent members should be selected from the parents.
He said that private schools earn commission worth lakhs of rupees from book sales or publication. In the Kullu district a school was allegedly found involved in this practice. Text books were being sold to parents or students with exorbitant prices, costing about ten thousand rupees, he informed. The regulation of pvt education would help the state to introduce NCERT and HP School Education board books by ending the illicit trade of publishing books at very high prices.
During Corona Pandemic the ‘Chatr Abhibhavak Manch’ remained active to help aggrieved parents and students who were facing a frequent demand for increasing school fees and charges, despite the government’s advice to private schools for charging tuition fee only.
The affected parents also knocked the doors of the court for regulating private institutions and forcing the Government to intervene.