Private School In Anantnag charges hefty admission fee against official instructions

Srinagar, Feb 20: A school in Anantnag has charged admission fee of at least Rs 45000 and on top it, no receipt has been provided, parents said on Saturday.

“I was told that admission fee is mandatory and asked to deposit Rs 45000. I gave them cheque but the school authorities at Radiant Public School Batangoo Anantnag demanded cash and provided no receipt for it,” a parent said. “All other parents were made to pay the same or more amounts without providing any receipt.”

Asked if the parents did not seek a proper receipt, he said: “The school administration said that no receipt is provided and handed over admission card instead.”

Secretary School Education Department B K Singh told a stringent action will be taken against the school.

Meanwhile similar complaints were received from most of the schools in Srinagar where parents were made to pay hefty amounts as admission fee, mainly under the garb of annual fee. A school in Habbak area of Srinagar has been learnt to have given option to the parents to either pay around Rs 80000 as one-time admission fee or pay Rs 15000 annually until the student passes the tenth standard examination and the total comes to around Rs 2.50 lakhs. Another school in the vicinity charged Rs 15000 to be paid every year by the parents. Similar complaints have been received from other schools.

All schools seem to have adopted same modus oprendi by not providing receipt against the payments, possibly to dodge the authorities. Most of the parents said that they made the payments in order to secure the admission of their wards and did not seek the receipt for fear reprisal and punishment to tender wards by the school authorities.

Soon after assuming the charge as Chairman of Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools, Justice (Retd) Muzaffar Hussain Attar, underlined the need to streamline the fixation and regulation of fee by the private schools. The chairman has underscored the need for many decisions required to be taken to ensure that imparting education remains saintly duty and not end up being a commercial activity as activities by them in recent past amply allude to.

Outlining the future plans, the chairman has already restrained the management and owners of the private schools from “collecting admission fee” from the guardian of the children at the time of admission in their respective schools.

Importantly also, the school managements were asked to pay back the admission fee to the guardians if received from them. The parents urged the authorities to ask school managements to issue clear notification that they have not charged any fee from guardians in lieu of admission fee and if so charged, same has been returned. (GNS)

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