Fee Regulation of Private Schools: Rules for the Act

By: Admin 28 April, 2017

The Gujarat government issued rules for the Act regulating the fees charged by private schools in the state through Fee Regulatory Committees. "The Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017," came into force this month after Gujarat Governor O P Kohli gave his assent to the said Bill on April 12. The Bill was introduced by the BJP government in the recently concluded Budget Session with an aim to control the "exorbitant fees" charged by the private schools "in absence of a clear law" regarding it.

 

The rules were issued by the state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama for all the private schools in the State.

 

Rules for the Act are as follows:

 

  1. Who want to charge fees more than what has been prescribed in the Act, need to submit their proposal with the Fee Regulatory Committee before imposing any hike.

  2. Four committees in four zones have been established, having their headquarters at Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot.

  3. The prescribed fee structure for primary, secondary and higher secondary school is Rs. 15,000, Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 27,000 per year, respectively.

  4. Schools need to attach audited accounts of last two years with the proposal form for hike in fees. The committee would then listen to the school management and take a decision within 90-days from receiving the proposal.

  5. The committee would take into account various parameters before granting or rejecting permission to hike the fees.

  6. Schools which are already taking less than the prescribed fee limit need not approach the committee. If such schools significantly increase their fees, they will be liable for scrutiny by the committee.

  7. Fee Regulatory Committees will be headed by a chairman, who can be either a retired district and sessions judge or a retired IPS or IAS officer.

  8. The Fee Regulatory Committee will have jurisdiction over all the private schools, from pre-primary to higher secondary, affiliated to Gujarat Board, CBSE or international boards.

  9. The committee will also have the powers to initiate inquiry suo moto against any school found to be charging excess fees and pass an order to refund double the amount of excess fee to the parents.

  10. If the school fails to refund the amount in 15 days of getting that order, government would charge a hefty interest of one percent for each day.

  11. The committee is also empowered to impose up to Rs. 5 lakh fine for first offence, Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 lakh fine for the second offence and cancellation of registration or affiliation of the school for the third offence.

  12. Schools need to maintain accounting records for their income and expenditure, such as records related to fees, grant, staff salary, stationery and computers.

  13. All the schools have to open a special bank account for the purpose of collecting fees from parents. Schools are required to make expenditure using this account only, said the release.

  14. The Act also provides for Fee Revision Committee, to be chaired by a retired judge of the High Court. Schools can approach this committee for revision if they are not happy with the order issued by Fee Regulatory Committees.

  15. Orders passed by the Fee Revision Committee shall be final.

 

 

This news was taken from NDTV’s website. Read the original article here.