FFRC directs private schools not to enhance fee during academic session 2021-22, Rescinds previous decision of 6 percent hike

In the backdrop of lockdown of 2020 and COVID -19 pandemic, the private schools in J&K have been directed not to enhance any kind of fee for students including tuition fee, annual fee and bus charges during the academic session of 2021 -22.
The directives to this effect were issued by Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee for Private Schools J&K (FFRC), Jammu which met here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, former Judge of J&K High Court and Chairperson of the Committee. The Committee in another meeting also revoked and rescinded the Order No 1 FFC of 2019 issued on January 28, 2019 regarding 6 percent hike and issued orders that schools shall not hike the fee by 6 percent as provided in order No 1 FFC of 2019 and urged them to stop the practice forthwith.
The Committee, besides the other decisions resolved that all the private schools functioning in Kashmir and Winter Zone of Jammu Division will not enhance any amount of fee during the academic session 2020-21. Besides, those schools affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not hike the fee for session 2021-22.
The Committee also rescinded the Order No 106 FFC of 2017 under which the hike was raised by 8 percent for a period of three years and Order No 493 FFC also of 2017 under which this period was restricted to two years only.
While issuing the orders, the Committee observed that all these general fee hike orders appear to have been issued without laying any factual foundation thereof. It also observed that the Order No 1, FFC of 2019 ex-facie is not in consonance with and does not fit in the scheme of J&K School Education Act 2002 as amended till date.
The Committee has directed all the private schools not to hike fee by six percent as provided in Order No 1 FFC of 2019 and stop this practice forthwith.
The Committee said the School management who are desirous of seeking hike in the fee structure shall approach the Committee for Fixation and Regulation of fee of Private Schools strictly in accordance with the statutes and court order and the orders passed in this behalf from time to time. The management should provide necessary material documentary evidence as provided in prescribed pro forma to justify such enhancement in the fee structure, which is spirit of statutes and mandate of judgment dated June 1, 2015, it added.
The Committee also issued orders that the managements of all schools who have not submitted documents to Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of private schools of J&K for ascertaining whether they are indulging in profiteering or not shall submit all relevant documents within already prescribed period to FFRC on the prescribed proforma available on www.jkffc.in and wherever there is deficiency in documents already submitted , same shall be made good within the time extended by the Chairperson.
The Committee maintained that providing hike without further scrutiny of fee structure may be a possibility only when fee structure of every individual school is determined and regulated by Committee for FFRC J&K. Even in such circumstances there can’t be universal application of fee hike by adopting percentage method. Such approach will vary from one group of schools to other group, the Committee further added.
The Committee made it clear that the J&K School Education Act 2002 is a regulatory measure in respect of fixation of fee for private schools and Chairperson of the Committee has been enjoined with the duty to carry out the purpose and intendment of the statutes. The Committee further maintained that the Chairperson is otherwise also duty bound to give effect to the judgments of courts of law and statutes.
It opined that the decision was taken as huge population across the globe was subjected to untold sufferings and miseries due to COVID-19 pandemic. Some sections of people lost jobs and most of the people’s income was substantially reduced. So it had become difficult for most of the people even to have bare necessities of life, the Committee further observed.
The Committee, while issuing directives to private schools, observed that for regulation of fee and for fee enhancement , if any, in future , the schools should submit their files in offices of the Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee in accordance with pro forma available on FFRC website.
The meetings among others was attended by B K Singh, Administrative Secretary to Government School Education Department, Member Secretary, FFRC, Anuradha Gupta , Director School Education , Jammu Member FFRC and Manisha Sarin, Secretary J&K Board of School Education and Member FFC.

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