PSAJK circular mere eyewash, allege parents
Srinagar, Sep 7: The Private Schools Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has asked the institutions not to charge any capitation fee for new admissions this year but the association has stated that the students will have to pay the annual fee.
A parent while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “One needs to see whether the private schools will follow the directions of the PSAJK or it will just turn out to be a mere announcement.”
He said, “At present admissions are going on as the season has commenced. The schools are continuing with their old practices.”
The parent said that it seems that someone needs to remind these schools that according to Section 13 of the Right To Education no school can collect the capitation fee and if any school violates this norm penalty could be imposed on it.
“No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee. Any school which receives capitation fee, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged,” states the Section 13 of the RTE.
“By issuing a circular the PSAJK has done no favour to the people. These schools need to focus on education rather than turning into money minting centers. In March this year we have already paid the annual charges without our children availing any of the facilities. Last year they attended schools for six months and for that also we had paid the annual charges. Now they are again asking for the annual charges. It’s not fair,” the parent added.
An owner of a private school said, “If we have to provide quality education and facilities to children then we have to invest in our institutions. If we don’t have to charge anything then the government should takeover our institutions so that we can do something else.”
He said, “A notion is being created that we are earning huge amounts but it’s not a fact. We have suffered huge losses first due to disturbances and now due to COVID.”
A teacher of a private school told this newspaper that things have not been that easy for them since August 5, 2019, when Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K’s special status. “Since then schools have been closed. Many teachers were sacked while the ones who were retained their salaries were slashed. Non teaching staff was thrown out. Despite charging hefty fee they pay peanuts to their staff on the name of salary,” the teacher added.
He said, “Had the government formulated a policy for hiring the teachers and fixed their salaries, we would not have faced exploitation at the hands of the businessmen who run these institutions.”
Despite repeated attempts Director School Education Kashmir didn’t pick up the phone.