New Delhi: Taking cognisance of the complaints it received about harassment of children by schools over fee-related disputes, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has created a framework through which parents will be a part of meetings when fee structures is will be decided in unaided private schools.
The 35-page framework, accessed by Millennium Post, is applicable for private unaided schools all over the country, including Delhi. Such schools form 23 per cent of the total schools in India, and cater to 36 per cent of the country's school-going population.
It includes, inter alia, the appointment and enhanced role of the parent reachers association (PTA), in the nature of a school management committee and as prescribed by the Right to Education. The guidelines claim that a District Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) will be formed for regulation of school fees in each district of the state.
The DFRC shall be headed by the district collector or district magistrate as chairperson.
'The increase in fee within the levels shall not be more than 10 per cent of the preceding level,' said an NCPCR official.
The guidelines further say there shall be only one PTA in every school, which shall be formed within one month of the beginning of the academic session. However, 50 per cent of the PTA teachers shall be nominated by the school management and the rest shall be nominated by three-fourth representative parents of the PTA.
The PTA shall appear before the DFRC for hearing on fee determination, as and when called by the committee, where parents will be able to give their views on the structure.
The DFRC shall issue an order, including consolidated fee and excluding transportation, hostel and mess charges for three consecutive years. As per the guidelines, no school shall demand fee amounting to more than one quarter from any student at a time.
The fee determined by the DFRC for pre-primary schools, primary schools, secondary schools and higher secondary schools shall be displayed by every school on its notice board and on its official Website in state official language as well as in English.
Priyank Kanoongo, member, NCPCR, stated that the framework was developed after examining the fee regulatory guidelines, laws and acts adopted by different states. 'It aims to provide a preventive strategy against physical, mental and emotional harassment of children in schools resulting from a mutual dispute between school and parents on fees related issue,' he said.
'Change in affiliation board, introduction of a new co-curricular activity or a new facility such as transportation, are some of the points when a school can apply for revision of the order for the determined fee to the state appellate authority,' Kanoongo added.