“Fee prescribed by panel will be applicable this academic year”

Private schools in the State will have to follow the fee structure prescribed by the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee this academic year, the committee clarified in a statement here on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the committee had issued a statement saying that 6,400 schools had petitioned it seeking revision in the prescribed fee. “Since the committee felt that schools, teachers and parents should not be affected in any way, it has decided to inspect the schools again before a possible revision of the prescribed fee structure. This exercise will need more time and, therefore, the committee has decided to implement the new fee structure in the academic year 2011-12,” the statement had said.

On Wednesday, the member-secretary issued a release stating that as far as this academic year was concerned the amounts already prescribed by the committee would be applicable to all schools.

The committee, headed by former Madras High Court Judge K. Govindarajan, was formed by the School Education Department to regulate the fees collected by private schools across the State government under Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act 2009.

The Federation of Matriculation Schools' Association in Tamil Nadu, which met here on Wednesday, has decided to send an appeal to the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee as well as the government to implement the fee structure from the next academic year as the appeal for a revision is pending.

They also wanted to assure the government that all the schools in the federation would not collect donation, capitation fee and excess fee.

While many parents welcomed the move, some were sceptical.

“Much lies in the enforcement... Even after the committee was formed and a new fee prescribed, the matriculation school that my daughter was going to hiked the fee considerably. We had to put her in another school,” said M. Marimuthu, a parent.

Emphasising that the process needs to be made more transparent, he said: “Just prescribing a fee amount does not help. Unless the enforcement is strict and unless schools that do not comply are pulled up, schools will continue charging high amounts.”

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