FFRC announces ban on admission fees in private schools

Kashmiri girl students during morning assembly in a school
File Photo | Kashmiri girl students during morning assembly in a school

SRINAGAR — The Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools (FFRC) in Jammu and Kashmir has issued a stern circular addressing complaints about private schools in the UT charging unauthorized admission fees. This violation allegedly occurs during the commencement of the new academic session, prompting concerns over improper fee collection practices.

The circular, numbered 01/FFRC/Adm/14/2023 and dated December 20, 2023, highlights the alleged charging of admission fees by private schools in defiance of statutory regulations.

It is reported that numerous schools have been collecting admission fees, mostly in cash, and allegedly failing to issue receipts for the same. Such actions are in contravention of Section 20E (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act 2002, which strictly limits fee collection by private schools to tuition fees, annual fees, transport fees, and voluntary special-purpose fees, excluding admission fees.

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In response to these reported infractions, the FFRC has issued specific instructions to all private schools in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir:

  1. Cease Unlawful Admission Fee Collection: Schools are directed to refrain from charging admission fees that breach statutory provisions.
  2. Accountability for Violations: In cases where complaints are substantiated against any private school for charging unauthorized admission fees, the school management will be held accountable for such actions. Legal repercussions will follow.
  3. CBI Inquiry for Verification: If a school denies charging admission fees but evidence suggests otherwise, the matter will be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a thorough investigation. Adverse findings may result in severe consequences, including derecognition or disaffiliation.
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Signed by Justice Sunil Hali, Chairperson of the Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools in Jammu and Kashmir, the circular serves as a strict warning to private schools flouting fee regulations.

The circular has been disseminated to various key entities, including the J&K Board of School Education, Directors of School Education in Kashmir and Jammu, and the Principal Secretary of the School Education Department.

The Committee’s decisive action aims to curb unauthorized fee collection practices in private schools and ensure compliance with legal statutes, prioritizing fair and regulated educational fees for students in the region.

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