Delhi Government orders 575 private schools to refund excess fee

The Delhi Government has issued a direction to 575 private schools in the national capital to refund the excess fee collected by these institutions citing implementation of the 6th Pay Commission recommendations, according to an India Today report. In what could be termed as immense relief to the parents of 575 children who were fleeced by the private schools from June 2016 to January 2018 by charging exorbitant excess fee. The Delhi Government, led by Aam Aadmi Party had not only cracked the whip to these private schools by refunding the excess fee but also to pay the principal amount along with 9% interest. What is more, the schools were also directed to refund the fee within a week and ensure the disbursal of pending payment of salaries if any, citing an order by the Directorate of Education, a PTI report said.

Apparently, the directive from the Delhi Government came following the report of a Committee constituted by the Delhi High Court for examining the records of private schools with respect to the implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations, noted the report. Subsequently, the panel undertook an audit with 1,169 schools in the national capital. Non-compliance with the order will be viewed seriously and action will be taken against errant schools under the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973, the Directorate of Education statement said. Furthermore, the DOE has also asked the district and zone deputy officers to submit a status report of compliance by the unaided recognized private schools of their jurisdiction within 15 days, the order said.

In 2017 too, after the Delhi Government issued show-cause notice to 449 private schools giving them two weeks to refund excess fee charged, many schools started issuing public notices in newspapers, urging parents to collect the fee refund.

Atishi Marlena, Advisor to Education Minister Manish Siodia was quoted as saying by the report that these schools hae been sent notices in the past too, yet they are not complying. “We have two options as per rules. Either take over the school or derecognise them. The second option will leave hundreds of students without a school so the government has decided to take them over.”

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