Days after ordering two branches of DPS schools to roll back their fee hike, the Delhi government Friday issued a similar order to G D Salwan Public School in Rajinder Nagar Friday over increased fee. The school authorities seemed flummoxed by the government move, having issued a circular last week to continue with last year’s fee structure with an allowance for adjusting higher fee, if paid, in the next quarter.
“Since the matter is sub-judice, the management has decided to continue with the fee structure of the session 2015-16 (i.e last year) till further decision of the school management committee. Excess fee… if paid by students, will be adjusted in the next billing cycle, subject to further decision of committee,” stated a circular to parents on April 16.
In a communication to the school, Saumya Gupta, director of the Directorate of Education, (DoE) said, “The management of the Salwan Public School is directed to refund the enhanced fee to the parents collected so far for the academic session 2016-17 and submit a clarification on fixing the excess fees from nursery class in comparison with other classes.”
Citing rules, the order said all private unaided, recognised schools built on land allotted by DDA/other government agencies on concessional rates or otherwise shall not increase tuition fee without prior permission of DoE.
B N Chopra, director of the school, said, “We have already rolled back our fee, but even if we hadn’t, the correct procedure would have been to issue us a showcause notice or at least hear our side. The government has straightaway implicated us…”
The government acted after 250 parents met Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and alleged that the school had increased the fee by 12 per cent for entry level classes, and by 10 per cent for senior classes, without seeking government sanction.
Other allegations levelled by parents include charging of fee for mid-day meals, forcing parents to use school transport for their children, and charging parents of EWS students for books and uniforms.
Reacting to the charges, school authorities said the move to introduce school transport was undertaken to discourage parents from using unsafe modes such as vans for their children. “We are not forcing anyone, but issued an advisory. The SC has issued strict guidelines regarding safe transport for children. Instead of 10 vans for 100 children, we thought it (is) environmentally better to introduce one bus for 75 children,” said Chopra. On allegations of charging EWS parents for books and uniforms, the school said it was passing on all the benefits meant for the children.