Delhi govt. proposes taking over 449 private schools over fee refund

New Delhi: The Delhi government has proposed to take over 449 private unaided recognized schools which have failed to refund excess fee charged by them despite government order.
The government is planning to take over the management of the schools and will be issuing them show-cause notices as they have faltered in refunding excess fees charged from parents on the pretext of implementing the Sixth Pay Commission in 2008.
The plan has been sent to the lieutenant governor for approval. The decision was revealed in an affidavit filed by the Delhi government before the Delhi high court, which is hearing a bunch of petitions on the fee hike issue.
“These schools have been sent notices in the past, yet they are not complying. We have two options as per rules. Either take over the school or derecognize them. The second option will leave hundreds of students without a school so the government has decided to take them over,” said Atishi Marlena, adviser to Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
Marlena said the 449 schools, which include some of top private schools, have to refund over Rs 300 crore to the parents.
After some parents through Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, an NGO, approached the High Court in the matter, the court constituted Justice Anil Dave Singh committee in 2009 to determine the need for fee hike and for examining the records and accounts of unaided private recognized schools in respect of implementation of 6th Pay Commission’s recommendations.
The committee had in its 10 interim reports and monthly reports of June 2016 to October 2016 recommended refund of the excess fee charged from the parents, in addition with 9% interest per annum.
The committee had also recommended special inspection of 249 schools on the grounds of non-production of relevant documents or incomplete documents.
Punya Salila Srivastava, secretary (education ), filed an affidavit in the HC on Wednesday on behalf of the DOE.
“…The department has already processed the proposal to issue show cause notices for taking over the management of schools under section 20 read with section 24 (4) ( c) of the Delhi School Education Act, 2009 and placed it before the Lieutenant Governor, being the competent authority, for approval. …,” the affidavit said.
Marlena said the schools need to reply to the show cause notices within two months and comply with the orders. “Otherwise after two weeks, Delhi government will take over these schools,” she said.

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