Former Member of Parliament M. Ramadass on Tuesday called for the constitution of a panel to regulate school fees in the Union Territory in the wake of rising complaints about fleecing by some self-financing private institutions.
In a statement, Mr. Ramadass suggested that such a committee would consist of experts in educational pricing, representatives of Parent Teacher Association, management representatives and officials of the Education Department.
The committee, after looking into the cost involved in conducting online classes, including the payment of teachers, should determine the monthly fees and the annual fees. The Schools, accepting the fees prescribed, should be directed to collect it in two instalments. Institutions which violate this direction of the Government and those of Madras High Court and have removed the names of students from rolls should be severely dealt with.
"As a permanent measure, the Government should Pass a Fee Regulation Act providing for a Fee Regulation Committee", he said.
He pointed out that while private schools are, no doubt, an integral component of the educational structure contributing to the educational progress of Puducherry, they should also exhibit a high degree of social responsibility, especially, when the whole society is sapped and shattered by the present Covid 19 pandemic.
Parents of students are experiencing job and income losses debilitating their capacity to pay the fees due to the schools. Realising the hardships of the parents, the Madras High Court in an order dated July 17 last year permitted schools to collect 75% of the fees in two separate instalments.
However, it is understood that many schools, disregarding the judgement, are insisting on the payment of pre Covid period fees failing which the names of students are removed from the rolls of online classes, he said.
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