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Private schools face Scrutiny over Alleged Fee Overcharging

Srinagar, Dec 22 (WD):

Private Schools in Jammu and Kashmir Face Scrutiny Over Alleged Fee Violations

In a recent update, the Committee for Fixation & Regulation of Fee of Private Schools in Jammu and Kashmir (FFRC) issued Circular No: 01/ FFRC of 2023, addressing concerns about private schools potentially violating established statutes by charging admission fees.

Numerous complaints received by the committee allege that certain private schools not only collect admission fees against regulations but also accept cash payments without issuing receipts, raising transparency and accountability issues.

As per Section 20E (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act 2002, private schools are expressly prohibited from charging fees beyond tuition, annual, transport, and voluntary special purpose fees. Special purpose fees, such as those for picnics and tours, must be entirely voluntary, and private schools are explicitly barred from charging admission fees or undisclosed fees.

Responding to these allegations, the FFRC issued a set of circular instructions for all private schools in Jammu and Kashmir:

  1. Private schools are sternly instructed not to charge admission fees in violation of established statutes.
  2. If a complaint is substantiated against a private school for charging admission fees, the fee will be deemed collected from all admitted students, and legal actions will be initiated against the school management.
  3. In cases where school managements deny charging admission fees, citing lack of receipts or other reasons, the matter will be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a thorough investigation. Adverse investigative reports may lead to legal consequences, including de-recognition or dis-affiliation.

This development underscores the committee’s commitment to ensuring private schools adhere to prescribed regulations, fostering a fair and transparent education environment. The FFRC emphasizes strict compliance with the law to uphold the integrity of the education system in the region. The outcome of these measures will significantly impact private schools found violating stipulated regulations.

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