Demand UP like Education Act for Private Schools in J&K
By: Sameer Lone
Srinagar: In a first of its kind, a top business delegation from Jammu and Kashmir today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi where they presented a memorandum seeking intervention of the prime minister.
The high level delegation was led by senior BJP leader and Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board board chairperson, Dr Darakshan Andrabi and the business tycoons who were part of the delegation included President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Inc), Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, chairman Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, President, chairman PHD Kashmir Chapter Baldev Singh Rana and Private Schools Coordination Committee President Showkat Chowdhary and few other business persons.
According to an official communication issued by the delegation, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, of KCC&I while giving an overview of the state of economy, presented a detailed memorandum to the Prime Minister.
Demand of Direct air connectivity to Jeddah/Dubai was made and revival of businesses was discussed in length and measures to encourage local industry/business so that people at large are engaged in business activities and will address the employment issue.
Three decades of turmoil and demand was made to settle the downgraded accounts for better tomorrow. Land related issues be it Roshni or lease land at Gulmarg & Pahalgam was also discussed
The Establishment of Model Carpet Village was discussed in length.
It has been said that the Prime Minister assured full support to promote GI tagged Kashmir Carpets world wide.
Showkat Chowdhary who represented Private Schools Coordination Committee (PSCC) sought the redressal of various issues private schools are confronting for their smooth functioning and demanded that the Education Act prevailing in neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh be implemented in J&K also.
At the outset we would like to hail your efforts, leadership and continued dedication to the education sector. We assure you that our Committee, which is a conglomerate of over 1450 private stakeholders across JK, are ready to work with the government for this noble cause. Despite difficult times, the private schools have been making untiring efforts in imparting quality education to the students, the results of which are quite visible,” Chowdhary told the PM.
While seeking PMs intervention for the redressal of issues. The PSCC president highlighted that all private schools in the erstwhile state of J&K were regulated by the Education Act 2002. “In 2015 by the order of the High Court J&K a Fee Fixation Committee was formed to take decisions regarding all issues of private schools taking the stakeholders on board.
Wide order number 1 FFC of 2019 date 28-01-2019 the private schools were allowed to enhance the Fee at 6% Annually on the fee structure existing on 1-Aug-2018 as its basic fee slab and the annual charges were fixed at 6000/annum and it could also be raised by 6% only. In case any school, to meet its expenses viz a viz upgradation, it has to apply and seek permission from the FEE FIXATION COMMITTEE. It was not mandatory for the schools falling in the category of having FEE upto 1000/month.
“In 2020 after the status of J&K state was changed to UT, an amendment was made in this ACT revoking order number 1 FFC of 2019 date 28-01-2019. By the order Number 44 FFRC of 2021 the following amendments were made:
1. FFC (Fee Fixation Committee) was authorised to fix the monthly and annual Fee for all the private schools.
- Any school wanting to raise the FEE due to meet its expenses has to seek permission/ approval from the FFC, which seems rather impossible for 7500 existing private schools in the valley.
- In case there are two complaints against any school regarding FEE, that school could be taken over by the Department of Education.
Because of these changes no good brand of schools from outside UT J&K are ready to invest by opening its branch in UT J&K. We hope that our issues shall be given a sympathetic ear,” reads the statement.