Panel Asks School To Refund Admission Fee

Srinagar: The fee regulatory authority for private schools in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday directed a prominent school to refund Rs 50,000 charged as admission fee from students within the next 15 days.

Fee Fixation Regulation Committee (FFRC) chairperson justice (retired) Muzaffar Hussain Attar issued the direction to the Foundation World School, Humhama.

Justice Attar, in a 15-page order, cited a Supreme Court ruling which bans charging of admission fee by schools.

“In view of the aforesaid circumstances, the Principal/ Chairperson/ Vice-Chairperson/Trustees of the Foundation World School, Humhama/Mammath, Budgam, are directed to return and refund amount of Rs 50,000 to complainant, Mr Suhail Dar and all other parents from whom admission fee has been charged and collected within fifteen (15) days and submit compliance report,” the order read.

The FFRC has received a slew of complaints against some leading private schools, accusing them of charging exorbitant fees and disregarding the government directives issued from time to time.

The FFRC chairperson said the school followed the provision to hike the tuition fee by six per cent, but failed to take into account the provision which had banned charging admission fee in any form.

“The brilliant minds of the school management have thus deprived parents of the children studying in their school of their hard earned money with both hands,” Justice Attar said.

The current order was secured after many complaints from parents who had contended that the school had charged them an amount of Rs 50,000 as admission fee in May 2019, in violation of directives of the FFRC, Directorate of School Education Kashmir, and the Supreme Court orders.

The FFRC had in March this year ordered a 50 per cent reduction in the monthly fee of the Foundation World School and the Birla Open Minds school.

The schools have challenged that order before the high court.

Earlier this month, the chief education officer of Budgam had served a notice to the Foundation World School over ‘unauthorised teaching of classes 6 to 9’ at the institution.

The official had pointed out that the school was “provisionally granted registration in 2019 to run classes up to Class 5 only for a period of five years”.

But during a spot visit by education department officers, the notice said, it was found that the school was “functioning up to Class 9 in gross violation of norms without any permission or registration”.

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