SRINAGAR: The Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of private schools (FFRC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday banned educational institutes from charging huge money in the name of security deposit, refundable fund or admission fee.
FFRC chairperson Justice (retd) Muzaffar Hussain Attar said most of the parents, who constitute a voice-less class, cave-in to the “illegal, unethical and immoral demands” of the “few big” school managements.
The FFRC order came after complaints of several school managements allegedly asking the students or parents to pay huge amounts in the name of security deposit, refundable fund and in some cases as admission fee as well.
“In the times of unequal bargaining position, few school managements are taking undue advantage of their higher bargaining position by allegedly asking the students for payment of huge amounts in the name of security deposit, refundable fund and in some cases as admission fee as well,” the FFRC chairperson said in an order. “Adopting this most unfair practice has the potential of causing immense damage to social fabric. On the one hand, the children of lesser mortals lose opportunity to compete in an otherwise harsh world, and on the other hand, some persons, amongst those, who pay huge amounts at the time of admission of their wards in these few schools, must be arranging such money through illegal means,” the order said.
The FFRC said education from times immemorial has been used as medium to develop and inculcate moral values in the people. However, unfortunately few persons “suffering from incurable disease of insatiable greed are destroying” the moral values of the society.
“Illegal money is generated and pumped into market which has the potential of adversely affecting the economic health of the state,” it said.
The FFRC said the state has legislated the laws to ensure that there is no commercialisation of education and this noble cause is safeguarded from all kinds of negative onslaughts.
“In view of the legal position, the schools, more particularly those few big schools who are demanding money from the parents beyond the fee … are restrained and prohibited from charging and collecting fee beyond the fee prescribed by Section – 20 E (1), more particularly are restrained and prohibited from charging and collecting money from the parents/students in the name of security deposits, refundable fee or money by whatever name called,” the order said.
The FFRC asked those schools who have charged and collected money beyond the prescribed fee “to forthwith return such money to the parents/students”.
“The parents who in the circumstances were compelled to pay the money beyond the prescribed fee are at liberty to inform FFRC by giving details about the payments made so that the action is initiated and punishments given to erring school managements in accordance with law, and it is ensured that money so charged and collected is returned to parents,” Justice (retd) Attar said.