Amritsar, July 26
The District Education Department is unaware of the rules made under the Punjab Fee Regulatory Act (PFRA), according to which it has to collect data from private schools regarding its fee structure, bank- balance sheets and other details.
The matter came to light when members of the United Human Right Organisation (UHRO) went to the district education office to study the inputs gained by the department as per the new rules.
However, much to their disappointment, officials stated that they were not aware of the recently framed rules of the PFRA.
According to the new rules, the Education Department has released four forms, namely A, B, C and D to all unaided private schools. These schools will have to submit duly filled forms to the regulatory commission office concerned by April 30 every year.
These schools will have to submit the detail of fee and funds being charged from students as per classes, details of emoluments being paid to teaching and non-teaching staff of the school, all miscellaneous expenses and details of bank-balance sheets along with audited annual bank statements.
The Punjab Parents Association president, MK Sharma, said the objective of the rules was to ensure that private schools should not raise fee and funds arbitrarily. The annual raise is already fixed at 8 per cent. Sharma added that schools could not raise even a single penny if they were being run under some society and generating profit. He said they were analysing the rules of the Act and in case they found any shortcoming, they could approach the government.
Three regulatory bodies were formed in the state following implementation of the Punjab Regulation of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutions Bill, 2016.
As per the legislation, the state has three divisional regulatory bodies.
Each body comprises a Chairperson, a Divisional Commissioner of the division concerned, a Member Secretary, Circle Education Officer of the division, and a member, DEO (Secondary), posted at the headquarters concerned of the division, another member, DEO (Elementary), posted at the headquarters concerned of the division and three other nominated members.
Amritsar falls in the Jalandhar Division, aggrieved parents could submit their complaints there.
It also recommended that all private schools must display their fee structure at a conspicuous place on their premises.
The Act does not allow commercialisation of education and funds charged from the students cannot be diverted to any other purpose except the betterment and development of the school or its needs.