59 Delhi Schools Get Govt Nod To Hike Fees By 5-10%

The Delhi govt gave permission to schools built on public land after an audit of their accounts; schools say hike not sufficient.

According to a DoE official, the directorate has audited the accounts of 236 private schools after receiving a request for fee hike.

The Delhi government has allowed 59 private schools to increase their tuition fees by 5% to 10% after an audit of their accounts by the directorate of education (DoE). The requests of another 177 schools who had applied to increase the fee have been rejected by the DoE after finding sufficient funds in their accounts.

The private schools built on the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land need prior approval from the DoE to increase their fee. There are 301 such schools in the city. Of them, 266 had applied to the government requesting permission for a fee hike.

According to a DoE official, the directorate has audited the accounts of 236 private schools after receiving a request for fee hike. “The permission to increase the tuition fee by 5% to 10% has been granted to 59 private schools because they had insufficient funds in their possession. This permission is confined to tuition fee alone,” a senior DoE official said.

Among the schools that have been allowed to revise their fee, was the Heritage School in Rohini, Crescent Public School in Pitampura, Indraprastha World School in Paschim Vihar and Mayur Public School in Patparganj.

School officials said the increase granted by the DoE was “insufficient”. Manit Jain, the chairperson of the Heritage Schools, said that they have been allowed to increase the fee by 5%.

“We are not satisfied with this increase and we are going to file an appeal with the directorate of education to consider revising it,” he said. The school has not changed its fee structure since 2016.

Officials of the other schools refused to comment on the issue.

The private schools built on government land have been at the loggerheads with the DoE over fee hike. The schools have been demanding that they needed to increase their fees to enable them to implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on salaries for teachers and other employees.

The action committee of private schools, an association of 300 private schools built on government land, had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the DoE’s circular that had stopped these schools from revising their fee.

The court had in March quashed the DoE’s circular and allowed the schools to revise the fee. The order was later challenged by the DoE and it is still subjudice.

Kamal Gupta, lawyer of the action committee of private schools built on government land, said these 59 schools have already started revising their fee. “The 59 schools that have been permitted by the DOE, after an audit for 2017-18, to increase their fee, have gone ahead to effect that increase and rightly so. Further, for the years 2018-19 and 2019-20, there is no stay by any court on enhancing the fee,” he said.

The directorate of education also ordered the district education officers to conduct a “brief scrutiny” in case complaints of “unnecessary fee hike” are received against the schools built on private land. “In cases of schools on private land and those on government land (without condition for DoE’s prior approval for fee hike), officers should conduct brief scrutiny and if necessary, issue show cause notices to the schools concerned,” the official said.

(Source: HT Education)

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