Govt contemplates law on fee structure in private schools

Syed Rizwan Geelani
Jammu, Publish Date: Jan 19 2018 12:07AM | Updated Date: Jan 19 2018 12:07AM

The J&K government is ‘actively considering’ bringing a legislation to regulate the fee structure in the private schools in the state.

This was revealed in a written reply by education minister Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari to a query raised by MLA Qamar Hussain during the question hour session of the House.

“The profiteering and commercialisation by private schools has been prohibited by the Supreme Court and the school education department is actively considering bringing legislation to regulate the fee structure of private educational institutions,” the minister in his written reply said.

“A draft bill on fixation of fee structure of private schools in the state has been prepared and shall be laid before the state legislature in due course of time,” the minister said.

The minister in his reply informed the House that government has constituted a school fee fixation committee (SFFC) to supervise the regulation of fee structure of all private educational institutions in the state.

“SFFC is fully functional and has taken number of decisions on the complaints filed by the aggrieved parents against the arbitrary fee revision announced unilaterally by private schools,” the minister said.

The minister said the department, on basis of the recommendation of the committee on road safety, has taken various measures to ensure adherence to safe transportation plan for school-going children.

“The department has issued a circular elaborating the safety and security of measures for school-going children which includes strict adherence to transport guidelines,” the minister said.

Interestingly, the school education department on December 27 issued a circular to the schools instructing them that school buses should be painted yellow and it must have written “School Bus” on the back and front side.

“Buses should have first aid boxes and should be fitted with speed governor of specified standard. The windows of buses should be fitted with horizontal grills,” the circular reads.

The circular reads that the school bus should be fitted with a fire extinguisher and doors should be fitted with reliable locks.

“The bus driver must have 5 years’ experience of driving heavy vehicles and any driver who has been fined more than twice in a year for offences like red light jumping, violation of lane discipline should not be employed,” reads the circular.