'Refund Excess Fees Or Get Affiliation Cancelled,' Jalandhar Commissioner Warns Pvt Schools
Jalandhar Division Commissioner has issued letters to District Education Officers (DEO) of Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Kapurthala to either implement the order of refund of the excessive fees collected as ‘development funds’ or start cancelling the affiliation of 45 defaulters schools, who have not refunded 15 crores collected from 60,000 students, reported The Indian Express
State faced numerous protests
Last year, the Punjab state faced numerous protests outside schools; several complaints were registered by parents of students of private schools. The parents organized dharnas and approached the Government to solve the matter against the alleged private school mafias.
Govt. constituted a committee under Justice Amar Dutt
The Government then intervened and constituted the Justice Amar Dutt Fee Committee for the private unaided schools of Punjab. The committee came up with its final report, listing 164 schools of Doaba region where the annual fee hike is more than 15 per cent. The committee in its report also mentioned the names of the defaulter schools. The report stated the names of the school where the profit was more than 15 per cent and asked them to refund the fees to parents. There is a total of 150 such schools in Doaba, 65 in Jalandhar, 33 in Kapurthala, 46 in Hoshiarpur and six in SAS Nagar, reported The Tribune.
The committee was set up by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and also included Retired Justice Amar Dut, Dr Payara Lal Garg and Ajay Sharma in the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) at Mohali office. The committee has passed the orders against Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) charitable society on 9th March 2017 and asked them to return Rs. 15 Crore ‘Development Funds’ charged since 2012-13, as reported in The Indian Express.
According to The Tribune, in May 2018, in a similar issue, the Education Department had warned the private schools in Jalandhar to stop harassing parents. The Director-General OF School Education had told the private schools to stay away from actions which may harm the students mentally. The then Deputy Commissioner had also found irregularities by the schools in 2016 when parents complained about illegal fee hike, as reported by Hindustan Times.