The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has passed a bill to curb the fee hike menace. The UP Self-Financed Independent Schools (Fees Regulation) Bill, 2018, passed by voice vote, seeks to regulate fee structure in private schools in the state. It will replace the ordinance promulgated in April to tighten the noose around schools charging hefty fees. The Uttar Pradesh government took the ordinance route as the state legislature was not in session.
The statement of objectives and reasons appended to the bill states that it has been brought to the notice of the state government that self-financed schools were increasing fees arbitrarily without consulting guardians of the students in the absence of an effective law. It elaborates that the students and parents have to shoulder the unnecessary financial burden, which affects the education of students. The bill is applicable to all private schools, including minority institutions, affiliated to the CBSE, CISCE and UP Board.
Considering the scenario, the state government has decided to make a law to provide for fixation of fees in private schools, the statement further says. The bill provides for setting up of district regulatory committees headed by the district magistrate and comprising of a chartered accountant, a PWD engineer not below the rank of the executive engineer and senior officer from the UP State Finance and Accounts Services. The committee will also include a representative of parents association, an eminent principal or manager of self-financed schools and district inspector of schools.
In a related development, the Centre is also planning to bring in a regulation to stop arbitrary fee hike by private schools. Some reports suggest that Centre is consulting all stakeholders before implementing a decision in this regard. The move was decided after the success of UP government's legislation in this regard.