Government asks private schools to reply on fee hike

Staff Reporter

No permission to hike fees in mid academic session: Minister

Schools contend that fee hiked to meet additional fiscal burden

Parents associations mount pressure on schools to rollback fee hike

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa government on Saturday asked private English medium schools to respond within 15 days as to what made them hike school fees in the mid academic session.

School and Mass Education Minister Sanjeev Kumar Sahoo chaired a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat after students and parents widely expressed resentment over steep fee hike.

“Private schools are not permitted to hike fees unilaterally in the mid academic session as per the No Objection Certificate issued to them during opening of a school,” Mr. Sahoo told reporters.

He said school authorities should follow fee structure revised time to time as per the guidelines issued by the School and Mass Education department.

“Schools cannot hike fees without consulting the government and parents,” the Minister said.

Moreover, the School and Mass Education department issued a circular to private school authorities asking them to disburse monthly salary through bank cheque or draft to maintain transparency in transaction.

Many teachers on condition of anonymity had alleged that they were not being paid respectable salary although authorities were maintaining a different record in pen and paper.

Private schools had contended that school fees was hiked to meet additional burden arising out of pay hike of teachers. Mass Education Secretary Vandana Kumara Jena and Director Dharanidhar Nat were present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, parents associations have mounted pressure on school authorities to roll back hike in fees.

Soumendra Mohanty, member of the parents association of city-based BJEM School, said any revision in fee structure could be made only after consultation with parents as well as government.

Dharna staged

“In the mid-session school authorities have hiked more than 75 per cent in the existing fee. They were covertly trying to implement it,” Mr. Mohanty charged.

A group of parents on Saturday staged a dharna in front of the school. They threatened not to allow teachers and students entering into the school on January 27 when there were plans to carry out admissions with hiked fee structure.

Similar was the situation with other schools. Although parents had not come out openly, there was widespread discontentment over exorbitant hike in fees.

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