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FFRC censures pvt schools for seeking 4-month annual fees, warns of action

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By: Muhammad Adnan

Srinagar: The Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) Wednesday slammed  private educational institutions for seeking  annual fee or other charges from the students for the months  November 2022 to March 2023.

The FFRC decision comes after private schools including Mallionson and Biscoe School demanded annual fees from parents for November 2022 to March 2023 months on the pretext of “extension” in the current academic session.

Soon after the school issued the fee notice, the parents said the school management was trying to give a notion that the change in academic session from November to March resulted in extension of the session.

So much so, one private school asked for Rs 300 as “heating charges” from the parents citing that the class work will continue till December.

“In view of the new education policy, the academic calendar has been extended to March instead of Oct-Nov and the classwork will have to continue for the November and December months,” a circular issued by Oak Hill Institute of Education read.

“Since the weather is cold and needs heating arrangement for that each student shall be charged Rs 300 per month which is to be paid separately to the form teacher within three working days from October 31,” it further read.

The school move came in for severe criticism from the parents who said that the schools would otherwise conduct the classwork for November and December months prior to change of session from November to March.

Notably, the Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson school earlier asked parents to pay annual fees for November 2021 to February 2022 noting that the payment will reflect in the fees for November 2022 as the academic session was changed to March.

However, the FFRC barred the school management from charging the fees and summoned the school principal to the office as well.

In a fresh order, the FFRC has stated that the academic session of the educational institutions comprises only 12 months.

Chairman FFRC, Justice (retd) Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar said in an order that the Government has made it clear that new admissions will commence from the March of the calendar year and Annual Examinations shall be conducted in March-April session in all the Government and recognised private schools.

The FFRC Chairman said that it was impressed upon these authorities that the school management’s notice to the students to pay Annual Fee for the months November 2022 to March 2023 was “legally not sustainable” and the authorities in these circumstances should withdraw the notice.

“The authorities assured that they would put on hold the notice which asks students to pay Annual Fee for the period November 2022 to March 2023,” the FFRC order reads.

The FFRC has stated that the management of any schools cannot stretch one academic year beyond a 12 months period.

“The period now starts from April 1 and ends on 31 March of the calendar year,” the order reads.

It reads that the five months period commencing from November 2022 to March 2023 were not part of the academic session and the students cannot be asked to pay annual fees for the period.

The FFRC has restrained the management of all private schools from charging and collecting annual fees for the period November 2022 to March 2023.

“Any breach of this order will result in initiating action according to law,” the order reads.

KV News

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