By: Sameer Lone
Srinagar: The enrolment of students in Private schools of Kashmir valley has decreased significantly since the outbreak of Covid pandemic. The covid pandemic has heavily impacted the economy of the middle class, forcing people to shift their wards from private schools to government run schools as the private institutions have become unaffordable.
The other reason, many say, is the introduction of new rules under which the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) will be the final authority to decide, determine and regulate the fee to be charged and collected by a private school.
“This has not gone well with the private school owners and they continue to charge the fee and other related dues at their own will,” said a senior official in the Directorate of Education.
Many say that the private schools continue to put a heavy burden on the pockets of parents forcing a majority to admit their wards in government schools. “I was asked to purchase books, uniforms (two uniforms), stationary from a particular shop. Also they charge different kinds of fees which we haven’t heard of when we were students,” said Nisar Ahmad, a parent.
Nisar has shifted his two wards into a government school and says he is satisfied with the way they are being taught in the public run school.
Also many people give good credit to the administration that has done a desired work to revamp the education sector. “The revival of School Management Committees, rationalisation of teachers and involving teachers to improve the student ratio has helped to up the student ratio.
According to a report, there are about 6500 private schools in J&K, which are being governed by the Government Fee Fixation Committee (GFFC) to regulate their tuition and other charges.
The J&K government has notified new fees rules for aided and unaided private schools of Jammu and Kashmir to bring them under an appropriate regulatory framework.
The rules have been notified by the J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha in exercise of the powers conferred to him under section 29, read with sections 20A, 20B and 20C of the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act 2002, according to the official notification.
With private schools losing out due to these new sets of guidelines where these schools wont’t sustain, they have given different names to fetch a good amount of money from the students.
“This has led to thousands of parents to admit their wards in public run schools,” said Ghulam Rasool, a parent.