The J&K High Court has directed government to nominate former judges as chairman of a committee for fixation of fee structure of the private schools in the state.
On 7 May 2013 government had passed an order about the constitution of the fee fixation panel to be headed by a retired judge of the J&K high court. However it was challenged and high court ordered stay.
Consequently the committee became non-functional as its chairman Justice Bilal Nazki, a former Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, had relinquished the post after his appointment as head of the Bihar Human Rights Commission on 10 March 2014.
While reviving the committee, the high court has made clear that if any school management was not satisfied with the fees to be fixed by the Committee, it was open for them to approach the Court for redressing their grievances.
The court has also granted liberty to the managements of the unaided private schools to approach the committee for fixation of fee structure of each standard.
“Till new fee structure is fixed by the committee, the managements shall collect all type of fees as in August, 2014,” the court has said.
The court has already issued order, directing all schools except those in Ganderbal not to charge tuition fee and bus fare from the students for the September and October last year.
It also issued directions not to increase the fee, which is being charged from the students and the school managements were directed to file undertakings within before the registrar judicial, stating that they have not charged the tuition or bus fee for the months.
The aggrieved schools have been granted liberty to approach the fee fixation Committee for appropriate directions, such as fixation of proper fee for each standard depending on expenses to be incurred by each school, fixation of bus fare to be collected from the students, book, uniform rates etc.
The decision is highly welcome and hopefully the revived committee would end commercialization of in education sector as it would be in the larger interest of poor students. While the parents of the poor students are reluctant to send their wards to government run schools given poor results and lack of basic facilities, the expensive private school education sometime proves too costly to be tolerated for them.