Stating that it is unable to pay teachers their salaries, a prominent private school has increased its fee in the middle of the academic year.
In a letter to parents, the principal of Apeejay School, Pitampura, said the school is still collecting fees as per its fee structure for the academic year 2016-2017, without any increase in the last three years. “You will appreciate that the school was constrained to charge the fee as per fee structure of 2016-17, which has resulted in high deficit and paucity of funds. There is acute shortage which may now lead to withholding of salaries/paying of staff salaries in tranches, if we don’t charge the existing fee structure for the academic year 2019-20 from April 2019,” the letter said.
For schools on govt land, raising fee a tricky subject
Delhi schools constructed on public land were given the land on the condition of promoting social good. These schools were also required to reserve a portion of their seats for students from the economically weaker section category, far before it was institutionalised under the Right to Education Act in 2009. As per established norms, any fee hike in these schools is possible only after DoE’s approval.
Reacting to the move, Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia told The Indian Express that the government might “take over the school or cancel its recognition” among other measures.
The school is one of 301 establishments in Delhi built on land given to them by government authorities, such as the Delhi Development Authority, at concessional rates.
According to the established norms, these schools cannot implement any fee hike without permission from the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE). Any proposed fee hike can be implemented only with the department’s approval, after an audit of the school’s accounts.
The increased fee structure which the school had proposed for the year 2017-2018 was not approved by the DoE. The school has said its proposed fee structures for 2018-2019 and 2020 are still pending approval with DoE.
The school, in its letter, said the increased amount is “only the differential amount required to be paid, had you been charged the 2019-2020 fee”. Parents have been asked to pay the supplementary fee in two installments — the first within 10 days of receipt of the supplementary bill, and the second by December 21.
The Delhi Parents’ Association has estimated that the hike will be around Rs 25,000 for every parent.
School principal Veena Goel did not comment when contacted by The Indian Express.