FFRC directs private schools to submit files for fee fixation or face action

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Schools barred to hike tuition unilaterally

KNO Correspondent

 In a recent development, the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) for private schools on Wednesday directed all the private schools in the J&K UT to submit their fee structure proposals for approval within the specified time period.

In a fresh order issued in this regard, according to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Chairman of the Committee has said that private schools were earlier ordered to submit their proposals in January 2021, but due to requests from individual schools and associations, the submission deadline was extended.

As per the order, the Supreme Court had earlier ruled that educational institutes should submit their proposed fee structures well in advance of the academic year, along with all relevant documents and books of accounts for scrutiny.

“The Committee will then decide whether the proposed fees are justified and not profiteering or charging capitation fees. Once the fees are fixed by the Committee, the institutes cannot charge any other amount above the approved fees,” the order reads.

The order reads that the Jammu and Kashmir Private Schools (Fixation, Determination and Regulation of Fee) Rules, 2022, were notified by the J&K Government on May 10, 2022.

“Rule 5(1)(c) of the Rules requires private schools to place their proposed fee structure before the Committee along with all relevant documents and books of accounts for scrutiny within the specified time. Rule 8(a) of the Rules requires private schools to submit a proposal for fee fixation, determination and regulation three months before the next academic year starts,” it reads.

The FFRC Chairman has directed all the private schools in J&K UT to submit their fee fixation and regulation files for the upcoming academic sessions, along with all requisite documents and audited accounts of the last three years.

“Schools with an already approved fee structure for the 2023-24 academic year need not apply and should adhere to the approved fee structure,” it reads.

It further reads that the private schools that failed to submit their fee fixation and regulation files earlier are provided with a final opportunity to submit their files and documents as prescribed.

“Failure to submit the requisite information will attract action in terms of Rule 8(d)(i) and (ii), which includes imposing a fine equivalent to 10 percent of total revenue generated by the private school in the preceding year or taking over the management of the private school until it submits a proposal,” the order reads.

“During the period of management takeover, the government will appoint an administrator to ensure the smooth functioning of the school at the cost of the school’s fund, and no further development/procurement/construction activities related to education and safety of children will be allowed,” it reads.

The Chairman FFRC in his order has stated that the competent authority may withdraw permission and recognition of the private school as per the procedure laid down by the government.

Meanwhile, the FFRC in a separate order has barred the private schools from giving a unilateral hike in the tuition fees saying that no Private school association, individual school was competent to make a hike in any kind of fee charged by the school without permission of the Committee.

“No organization (Govt/Private) is competent to fix and regulate fee of in a private school. It is exclusively domain of the Committee,” the order reads.

The private schools have been asked to adhere to the fee structure approved by the Committee. “Parents and school managements are at liberty to approach this committee for redressal of grievances regarding fee structure if any, the same will be considered by the Committee,” the order reads

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