Gujarat govt reins in schools; new Bill caps school fees within Rs 15-27K bracket

Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said "Education is a service and not a business."

Written by Avinash Nair | Gandhinagar | Published:March 31, 2017 1:36 pm
gujarat schools, gujarat assembly, gujarat school fee bill, gujarat private school fee cap, gujarat school fee limit, gujarat news, indian express news, india news “This law will be applicable to all schools in the state. Under this law, all primary, secondary and higher secondary schools affiliated under CBSE, International Board, ICSE board and state board will be covered,” said the Gujarat Education Minister. (Source: Express Archive/Representational)

Putting a cap on annual fees charged by self-financed schools across Gujarat, the state government on Thursday passed a crucial legislation in the legislative assembly under which schools will not be able to charge more than Rs 15,000 for primary section, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27000 for higher secondary classes. “Education is a service and not a business… For those who want to earn profits should open a factory or a business establishment,” said state minister for education Bhupendrasinh Chudasma while tabling “The Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regularisation of Fees) Bill, 2017” in the House this evening.

“This law will be applicable to all schools in the state. Under this law, all primary, secondary and higher secondary schools affiliated under CBSE, International Board, ICSE board and state board will be covered,” said the minister who also went ahead a announced the maximum ceiling that schools can charge students. “For primary section, the maximum fees is 15000, for secondary it is 25000 and for 11th and 12 standard it is 27000… This is the maximum annual fees,” he said while explaining how officials from his department visited schools in rural and urban areas to arrive at the figure.

“Over 80 percent of the schools in the state fall under this bracket. It is the remaining who need to be regularised,” he added without disclosing the number of schools that will be covered under the law. Narrating to the House how he has been receiving complaints from parents from across the state, the minister said, “Donations are being taken beyond imagination. Schools decide which brand of shoes to buy and from which shop. The sale outlets of these brands are set up within the school compound and the parents are forced to buy uniforms, water bags, shoes, school bags, etc. This is not a good precedent.”

“A crorepati family once told me that his grandson’s school had asked him to bring Rs 25000 for a celebration of a festival. He said he can easily afford the amount. But what right does the school have to charge such an amount,” Chudasma said adding that the schools across the state have been involved in collecting fees for Holi, Uttarayan and Diwali celebrations. “This is not fees. It is extortion. This has caused personal pain to me. I cannot bear it any more and so we are bring in this legislation,” he added.

Under this legislation, a Fee Regulatory Committee will also be formed that will keep a tab on the school fees. “No schools can take donations,” Chudasma said. The offences and penalties prescribed under this Bill includes a fine of Rs 5 lakh for the first offence, Rs 5-10 lakh for second and cancellation or withdrawal of registration/affiliation/no-objection certificate of the school on a third offence.

The Bill, however, exempts pre-primary schools which are running play groups, creches, etc. Before the Bill was passed by a voice-vote in front of empty Opposition benches (members were earlier suspended), some of the BJP MLAs asked the minister to extend the coverage of the Bill to include pre-primary sections as well.

Apart from this Bill, the Gujarat Assembly also passed five other Bills including The Gujarat Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2017; The Gujarat Panchayats (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017; The Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development (Second Amendment) Bill 2017; The Gujarat Private Universities (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The Gujarat Motor Vehicles Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017.

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  1. S
    Shweta joshi
    Jun 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm
    Sir aapne vidheyak to banaya lekin usko follow bhi kare aesa kuch karo kuki abhi bhi ahmedabad me aesi schools hai jaha preprimery section me 35000-50000 fees charge kar rahe he.Sir, jab tak law book mese bahar nikal kar nahi aayaga tab tak in school business men ko sabak nahi milega.jay hind
    1. R
      Rajesh Sonakiya
      Jun 19, 2017 at 5:13 pm
      This is related to St. Xavier High School,Vapi, Gujarat. In this Schools also they have decided one particular school uniform seller Shree Bon Bon Traders .The sellers outlet is very near to school and student are bound to buy all the uniform ,shock etc from this seller. The price of uniform is so high but quality is poor. They are charging more than double of money compare to same quality material available in market. Price for shocks is Rs. 70 (very high) and quality is very poor.Same quality shock will we available at footpath in 15-20 rupees.
      1. C
        Chirag Parikh
        Jun 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm
        SIr My daughter is also studying in Global Discovery school in Vadoadara. She is just in Nursery. But school fee is around 35000 per year. I also ask to school authorities for updates regarding school fees Bill. But No one replies properly. Pls. tell us where we can go for lodging a complaint against school? Any contact no. or Email Id, Pls Share. Even lots of parents in all over Gujarat having such types of complaints. So pls. help in this regard.
        1. K
          Jun 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm
          Respected sir, My son is studying in Sakar English School New C.G.Road Chandkheda. In sakar school they had not reduce the fees n there answer is that no change will be done in our fees structure .Sir I kindly request you to do the needful in fees structure in Sakar school also,there yearly fees is 25000 to 26000 .which is too high
          1. K
            karan naiani
            Jun 4, 2017 at 1:21 pm
            anand niketan maninagar is still charging 1 lakh. what can we do ?
            1. R
              Rajil Davda
              Jun 3, 2017 at 2:29 pm
              Does this applies to Pre Schools?
              1. G
                Gautam chatterjee
                May 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm
                1. D
                  Deepak Lakhani
                  May 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm
                  if any school is not followed this rule than any complaint number or email id is available or not if available then please share with me on priority.
                  1. T
                    Aug 21, 2017 at 10:25 pm
                    Good initiation. But still, some school charges more than 3 lakhs rupees for the student as annual fees. If we opened the case, kids may be restricted from the school, if not it is very hard to pay more than 3 lakhs rupees for the kids in a year. the amount increased by 100 comparing to last year. before joining the school the fees were not this much, but while joined it increases by 50 or 100 per year. The school is not even ready to procure all the receipt of paid documents, instead, it forced to pay in cash. Surprising, a government announce but school acts. in a nation or state, the school seems very powerful than a state or central government.
                    1. T
                      Aug 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm
                      Yes it is sir. we just peel out the banana and munch the kernel of banana because its very soft. I really love eating banana
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