A Bill proposed by the UP govt will let schools charge whatever fee they want!
Welcome To CitySpidey


A Bill proposed by the UP govt will let schools charge whatever fee they want!

And parents are livid! Find out what they are saying. 

A Bill proposed by the UP govt will let schools charge whatever fee they want! Parents of Ghaziabad schoolchildren at a news conference on Sunday

After angering flatbuyers with its sub-par Real Estate Regulatory Bill, the UP government has now rubbed unhappy parents of school kids the wrong way with its draft of the Uttar Pradesh SeIf-Financed Independent Schools (Regulation of Fees) Bill, 2017.

The state department of secondary education on December 8 released a draft of the proposed Bill on its website. However, it has faced stiff opposition since from parents in Ghaziabad, who say that the 12-page document is drafted in a way that favours schools and not parents, giving undue advantage to the former in deciding whatever school fees they deem necessary.

Speaking to City Spidey, parents pointed out a host of issues in the Bill that went against the interest of parents.

  • 1. Freedom to schools to decide fee structure: The proposed Bill gives freedom to schools to determine fee structures on their own, depending on their individual expenses for providing services and facilities to schoolchildren. While asking for a fee regulatory body to monitor the fees demanded by schools, parents also wanted the process of determining fees and the usage of funds thus collected to be kept transparent.
  • 2. Collection and usage of development charges: The schools can charge a maximum development fee of l5 per cent of the total charges collected from parents. But the Bill further says that the development funds can also be utilised for the setting up of new branches of the school or a new school under the same management. Parents question why they should be paying for new branches or new schools of the management.
  • 3. Formation of committees to monitor schools: Parents said they had asked for the creation of a state-level committee that would monitor the zonal committee, which in turn would monitor the district-level committee. While the zonal committee is already in place, there was no mention in the Bill of either the state- or the district-level committee. Parents said that in the absence of these monitoring committees, there would be no uniformity in school policies in different zones.
  • 4. Appointment of any parent-teacher association president as a member of the zonal committee: According to the proposed Bill, the president of any parent-teacher association of any school in the district may be nominated by the divisional commissioner (chairman of the committee) as a member of the zonal committee. Parents alleged that most of the heads of these associations are hand-in-glove with school administrations and hence often inclined to favour schools over parents.
  • 5. No mention of security regulations for children on school premises: Parents said they had asked for safety and security regulations of children while on school premises, but the proposed Bill made no mention of any such regulation. They said given the Armaan Sehgal and Pradyuman Thakur cases, schools should be taking the issue of security very seriously.

Parents and related associations have been holding protests and demonstrations against the high-handedness of private schools for a long time. Their main issues are exorbitant fees being charged under unexplained heads such as annual and development charges. However, this proposed Bill has caused renewed commotion among parent circles.

Speaking to City Spidey, Neeraj Bhatnagar, spokesperson of Ghaziabad Parents’ Association, said that although they had held several meetings with state authorities and sent them their recommendations for the Bill, none of it had been implemented. “After being so hopeful about strict steps being taken by the state government in favour of parents, we have received a set of rules that will further encourage — even legalise — the high-handedness of private schools. The Bill is completely against the welfare of parents,” he added.

Similar views were shared by Shivani Jain, president of All Schools’ Parents’ Association (ASPA). She said the association was already preparing a set of objections to be submitted to the government soon. “In case this Bill is passed, we are going to challenge it in court,” Jain added.

Moreover, parents have planned to conduct a protest march in the city this Sunday, December 17.

The state secondary department has invited comments and suggestions on the Bill, to be e-mailed to desecedu@gmail.com before December 22, 6 pm.