District-level panels to decide quantum on case-by-case basis after consultation.
The apex body for child rights, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has prepared guidelines for regulating admission fee levied by private unaided schools. The Commission has also recommended setting up a district-level body which will consult parents and teachers while determining school fee on a case-by-case basis.
“We have submitted the model framework to the Secretary of Human Resource Development Ministry and requested her to ask States to either adopt the guidelines or incorporate our suggestions to their own framework. We have recommended an online mechanism as well as a democratic method for fixing school fee,” said Priyank Kanoongo, Member (RTE & Education), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
Mr Kanoongo said the NCPCR took suo motu cognisance of the problem of exorbitant school fees after it received several complaints on the matter. He added that the Commission has studied regulations framed by various States over a period of six months and has included best practices in its model framework. The guidelines recommend setting up a District Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) in each district. The body will be headed by the Collector or District Magistrate.
For three years
As per the procedure laid down by the NCPCR, every school will have to submit its fee proposal online by October 31 for the next academic session, following which an algorithm will calculate the minimum and maximum fee a school can charge. This would be then analysed by the DFRC, which will consult representatives from the school as well as its Parent-Teacher Association before arriving at the final decision. The fee finalised thus will be applicable for three academic years.
If a school fails to submit its proposal, it may face a ban on new admissions for the entire academic session or withdrawal of its formal recognition. If a school is not satisfied with the DFRC decision, it can appeal to the State Appellate Authority whose decision will be final.
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