The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday gave its nod for an ordinance that would regulate private school fees.
If passed by the Governor, private schools, including minority-run, which charge at least Rs 20,000 as annual fee and hold classes from standard I to the secondary-level, will fall under its ambit. Under the Ordinance, a fee regulatory committee will be formed in every division with special powers to resolve cases.
A government spokesperson said the Ordinance, Swavitaposhit Swatantra Vidyalaya (Shulka nirdharan) Adhyadesh-2018, will improve academic quality as it would relieve parents of additional financial burden.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said it would include CBSE, ICSE as well as schools of UP secondary Education Board. He added that the draft was prepared after months of discussion with various stakeholders.
Sharma said schools will be required to upload their fee structure at least 60 days before the start of the academic year and would not be allowed to charge “admission fee” every year from the same student.
Schools will also not be allowed to change uniforms for at least five years and in case they wished to, they would have to appeal before the divisional committee, which would also include representation from parents and guardians.
Further, schools would be required to show their income from commercial activities within the premises, and have to raise the salary of teachers accordingly without increasing the fee.
Sharma said the Ordinance includes a Rs 1-lakh fine for the first violation, Rs 5-lakh fine for a repeat offence and a recommendation for de-recognition for a third strike.The “optional fee” will be applicable to only those who availed the optional facilities, he added. Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said the proposal would not include those which run only classes from I to V.
In another significant decision, Cabinet cleared a proposal to implement specialised agricultural systems in a district in each of the nine agro-climatic zones with the help of Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics. Agriculture Minister Srikant Sharma said the plan so prepared will look to optimise production based on local natural resources, weather and other available data.