15 Jan :The Delhi Government is unlikely to allow any substantial fee hike as demanded by the private schools in the capital and may implement varied fee structures depending on their financial health.
Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said there will be no across the board increase as demanded by the private schools ostensibly to pay their teachers as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.
"You cannot compare a school in trans Yamuna region with a posh school in South Delhi. We will go into the details of financial positions of each school before taking a decision on the issue," Lovely said.
Asked whether the S C Bansal committee report, looking into the fee hike demand, proposed a fee hike of not more than Rs 500, he said the committee made flexible recommendations.
The committee, which submitted its report on Tuesday, was formed in October 2008 to look into the demand of private schools for fee hike.
After receiving the report, Lovely appointed a committee headed by the Secretary (Education) to examine the recommendations so that it could be brought before the Cabinet for final approval.
Stating that the Government was not in favour of putting unnecessary pressure on the parents, he said the Cabinet will take a final decision on the issue after the committee submits its report.
"We will issue notification about the fee structure after Cabinet takes a final decision on the issue," he said.
Asked about reported threat of the private school authorities to approach the court, Lovely said, "They are free to do so. We are not stopping them to go to court."
"But at the same time they must follow certain rules and regulations. They are bound by government rules," Lovely said expressing anguish.
Several schools have expressed their displeasure over Bansal Committee’s recommendation which termed it as "bias and unjustifiable."
"We will not be able to pay our teachers as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission if the Government does not allow at least 50 percent hike," said a principal of a South Delhi school.
The schools said they will not be able to pay the arrears due to the teachers if there is no substantial increase in tuition fees.
Asked about how the schools will manage to pay the arrears if Government only allows nominal hike, Lovely said, "Government will find a solution to the issue."
Admission to Nursery classes are going on in the city and some schools have been charging interim fees from parents. Many schools have informed parents about a possible fee hike soon.
The BJP opposed the demand for fee hike by the private schools.
Any hike in school fees will be gross injustice to the guardians of students studying in private schools, Delhi BJP president Om Prakash Kohli said.
He said the private schools have been given land at concessional rates on the promise that they would provide free education to 25 percent children from poor section of the society.
"But most of the schools did not keep their promise."