Govt bars private schools from charging capitation fee
Srinagar: The government on Friday barred private schools in Jammu and Kashmir from charging capitation fee and subjecting students to “screening” at the time of admission.
The capitation fee often charged arbitrarily by private schools in the region has been rendered illegal by virtue of section 13 of the RTE Act 2009 of the Government of India. The Act came into effect in J&K after abrogation of Article 370 last year and the subsequent implementation of the J&K Reorganisation Act 2019.
An order issued by Principal Secretary School Education Department, Asgar Samoon warned that private schools charging capitation fee from students would be penalised by up to ten times the capitation fee charged.
Those schools subjecting students to screening would be penalised Rs 25,000 for the first contravention and Rs 50,000 for each subsequent contravention, the order said.
In an order, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), principal secretary to the government for school educational department and skill Development, Asgar Samoon also asked the private educational institutions to refund the amount to the parents which was collected by the management from November 2019 till date.
“The Fee Fixation Committee (FFC) was mandated to regulate the fee structure in private educational institutions in J&K and the committee has ordered inter-alia that private schools shall only charge tuition fee, annual fee, transport fee, voluntary special purpose fee or any other fee as may be approved by the FFC after following the due procedures. But shall not charge, in any manner, any other fee including admission fee,” the order reads.
The order further states that the FFC requested that the private educational institution be directed not to charge admission fees in violation of the government and court orders.
The order also states that any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1) receives capitation fee, shall be punishable with fine, which may extend to ten times from the capitation fee charged.
“To subject a child to screening procedure, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty five thousands rupee for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contraventions,” it reads.
“It is hereby ordered that no private school or person while admitting a child shall collect any admission fee from any child or his or her parents or guardians and such fee and if already collected in violation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 from the date of its applicability—that is from 31.10.2019 shall be refunded with immediate effect otherwise action under section 13 of the ACT shall be initiated forthwith,” reads the order.