Indian Campus

Chandigarh proposes to cap private school fee hike at 8%

With certain amendments, the UT will adopt the Punjab Regulations of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutional Act, 2016.

Multiple rounds of litigations by aggrieved parents before the Punjab and Haryana high court and city district courts have finally bore fruit. The Chandigarh administration on Thursday told the high court that it would adopt the law passed by Punjab government to regulate annual fee hike by private schools and cap the fee hike limit for private schools at 8%. The proposal has been sent to Centre for approval.

With certain amendments, the UT will adopt the Punjab Regulations of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutional Act, 2016, the Chandigarh administration told the high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Darshan Singh during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) on Thursday. Several petitions were filed against UT schools this year by parents, opposing the alleged arbitrary fee hikes.

A petition against Mount Carmel School, Sector 47-B and another petition seeking direction to all schools affiliated to Central Board of School Education (CBSE) are pending in the HC, while 38 parents had moved against St Joseph Senior Secondary School, Sector 44D, 33 parents against Delhi Public School, Sector 40C, and four parents against Chitkara International School, Sector 25, among others, before the district courts. With UT failing to satisfy courts on issues raised in the petitions, the courts had imposed stay on fee hike in several cases.

On Thursday, the UT’s verbal response came on the petition of Ritesh Pandey, who had approached the HC in February seeking directions to UT to take steps for curbing the alleged arbitrary and illegal fee hikes effected by private schools affiliated to CBSE from time-to-time.

Justice Mongia panel did not submit report for three years
In 2013, had HC had directed Punjab, Haryana and UT to form separate panels to look into the matter and put in place a regulatory mechanism. The UT had then formed a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Justice RS Mongia (retd), chartered accountant Vipul Kansal and former UT education department official Prithpal Kaur. However, the panel was able to submit a report at the end of 2016 only, while most private schools kept on hiking fee by 10-15% every year. On the other hand, the UT did not take any measure to regulate the fee.
Pending litigation on fee hike against schools
A petition against Mount Carmel School, Sector 47B and another petition seeking direction to all schools affiliated to Central Board of School Education (CBSE) are pending in the HC, while 38 parents had moved against St Joseph Senior Secondary School, Sector 44D, 33 parents against Delhi Public School, Sector 40C, and four parents against Chitkara International School, Sector 25, among others, before the district courts. With UT failing to satisfy courts on issues raised in the petitions, the courts had imposed stay on fee hike in several cases.

SOURCE: HT EDUCATION