The Delhi Government has cracked down heavily on 575 private schools charging an excess fee.
In a strong move, the government on Wednesday directed these city-based private schools to not only refund excess fees to parents but also return it along with 9% interest.
As per an NDTV report, the failure of any of these 575 schools to adhere to this order will invite strict action by the government.
PTI reported that the move came into effect after the Delhi High Court’s committee investigated the records of over 1,169 private schools while implementing the recommendations of 6th Central Pay Commission.
The order released by the Directorate of Education states, “The schools are directed to refund the fees within [seven] days and ensure disbursal of pending payment of salaries if any.”
At the beginning of this month, the AAP-led government had directed two other private schools to roll back the excess fee.
It also sent another city-based private school a decognition notice after parents approached CM Arvind Kejriwal and expressed how the school failed to provide free uniforms and books to students admitted under the EWS (or Economically Weaker Sections) category.
The Delhi Government has specified an EWS child under the Right to Education Act, as a resident of Delhi for the last three years with annual parental income of less than Rs 1 lakh. Children from this category are given 25% reservation in seat allotments
The ruling government stated, “Education should be rendered as a service.” CM Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted at the time, “For the first time in the country, schools are being disciplined. They are not being allowed to hike fees arbitrarily. Many schools are being made to return hiked fees. Because there is an honest government in Delhi.”
We hope the move will bring relief to several parents and students who have been victims of arbitrary fee hikes.
May similar policies be replicated in other cities and states to make sure the current education system transforms from being a money-making business to the much-needed ‘service’ it is meant to be.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)