GUWAHATI: Private schools in Assam with an annual fee structure between Rs 27,000 and Rs 37,000 will not need to bear any cut in the amount. However, elite schools are set to be severely hit by the “fee cut” set to be implemented from the April 2021 academic session.
A notification by the state secondary education department on October 19, stated that private schools charging up to Rs 27,000 per annum per student from pre-primary to Class V and a maximum of Rs 32,000 for classes VI-X will be exempted from the fee cut. But, such schools will have to obtain exemption certificates from the fee regulatory committee set up by the Assam government.
The limits, in case of senior secondary levels (classes XI-XII) are Rs 37,000 for science stream, Rs 32,000 for arts stream, Rs 33,000 for commerce stream and Rs 35,000 (for any other stream). The fee amounts specified include payments received under all heads, excluding transportation fees.
On the other hand, schools charging more than the specified amounts would require to submit the proposal for approval and fixation of fees in accordance to provisions of the Assam Non Governmental Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2018.
Even as most of the elite schools remain tight-lipped on the government move initiated after prolonged demands by the guardians, the All Assam Private Schools’ Association (AAPSA) said it is still studying the grounds based on which the fee structure has been decided and its possible impact on schools.
“Comparatively fewer schools cross the prescribed limit of the government. There are about 11,000 private schools in Assam. Normally, the fees are higher, corresponding to the facilities provided to students by the schools. Besides, the urban location also contributes to higher fees. If a school is paying a decent salary to its teachers, this limit may have to be increased,” AAPSA general secretary Sailesh Sarmah said.
Officials of many low-cost private schools that are already passing through tough times due to the Covid situation, felt that it would have been a great gesture of the government, if the fee fixation could have been postponed till next session.
RC Jain, chairman of the fee regulatory committee, which fixed the fee structure, however, said most private schools won’t be affected by the regulation, as they charge within the limit fixed by the government.
“A general survey was done, assessing the fee structure of most categories of schools, before a decision was taken. No specific calculation was involved in it,” Jain told TOI on Thursday.
He said the most important point was that private schools in Assam won’t be able to increase their fees at will any longer.
Principal secretary of the education department B Kalyan Chakrabarthy said the fee regulation has officially become a law, which is significant. “The idea was to come out with a policy by which private schools cannot charge exorbitant fees. It (the fee chart) has to be a public document. This move will bring more transparency on what the schools are charging from the students,” he said. Source From : Times Of India