DoE Had Rejected Proposal To Increase Fee After Audit
Guidelines of Delhi government’s directorate of education that private schools in the city cannot raise fees without its say so has led a prominent south Delhi school to request parents to pay the “proposed” higher fees on “a provisional basis”. If this is not done, says the letter sent by the school to the parents on Wednesday, the woeful state of finances could lead to the institution’s “unceremonious closure”.
“It was noted that on compliance of the DoE order, the school would be in enormous deficit, even if the basis of calculations of DoE, which though contrary to the Rule position, is accepted. This huge deficit might even lead to the unceremonious closure of the school known for imparting qualitative education for over six decades,” said the letter sent by Bluebells School International, East of Kailash.
The school had planned to hike the fees to meet the burden of implementing the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, but on August 1, DoE rejected the proposal after carrying out an audit. However, Bluebells claimed that DoE made an erroneous calculation of the institution’s finances and the facts and figures submitted with documentary evidence were not acknowledged. “DoE had been apprised of the adverse effects of the order. However, the request has yet not yielded any result,” the letter to parents stated.
The school, which is sited on government land, maintained that the implementation of the pay commission pay scales in 2017-18, as per DoE’s directives, had resulted in “enormous additional” financial burden. “Hence, charging the fee on the basis of 2016-17, as per the (August) order, would make it impossible to pay salaries to the staff members, leave aside the payment of balance of arrears… and meeting other essential expenses in 2018-19.”
Bluebells has moved Delhi high court on DoE’s order, maintaining that it does not need government permission to raise school fees. But with DoE yet to give the court its reply, there has been no relief on the front. In the interim, the institution wants the parents to pay their dues as per the provisional fee bills sent to them. “The school has no other option but to issue fee bill on provisional basis for the ensuing quarters, i.e. October 2018 onwards,” Wednesday’s letter said.
Principal Sumar Kumar told TOI, “The school stands by its assurance that the final judicial decision of the authorities or the honourable court will be adhered to. It is always open to discussions with the parents, but it will be impossible to manage at the earlier fees.”
The letter has stumped parents. “The government should intervene to sort out the confusion. Even if we pay the fees, we do not know whether the school will refund the money if the court disagrees with the school,” remarked the father of a Class V student.