The Directorate of Education has allowed the unaided private schools on DDA lands to increase their fees by 15% as an “interim” measure to comply with the seventh pay commission recommendations. Around 300 schools in Delhi have to get their fee hike proposals sanctioned by the government.
In a circular dated 17 October, the DoE has pointed out that since the schools would have to comply with the 7th Pay Commission that entails an almost 25% increase in the salaries of the schoolteachers. Also, the arrears need to be paid with 7.5 % of tuition fees of students, while the new salaries will be funded by the 15% fee hike, with effect from July 1, 2017.
The government officials opine that this move would be beneficial for both the schools and the parents. For the schools, it is useful because it would help them cope with the audit to provide increased salaries of the teachers. For the parents, it is helpful because they would not have to pay the lump sum amount in a single go – it will be easier for parents to pay an increased fee consistently.
The circular comes at a time when the Delhi government is locked in a very public tussle with private schools on the issue of returning excess fees.
This circular is coming at a time when the private schools have been at loggerheads with the Delhi government regarding the issue of fee hikes.
The circular also has provisions to ensure that the schools do not exploit the parents:
- Schools are directed to use all their funds that are in reserve to pay its teachers as per the seventh CPC.
- These schools will be asked to open their accounts in parent-teacher meetings, which will have a committee with at least one parent from each section of the school.
A senior government official has reportedly said that around 150 schools had already been audited. Also, those schools who were denied fee hikes in 2016 will not be allowed to increase their fee this year either.
Parents’ organisations have opposed the move. Speaking to The Times of India, Khagesh Jha of Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh said, “There are already committee reports that show that the school fees are double or triple the required amount.”