District-level committees constituted to resolve tuition fee disputes

With complaints from parents mounting about private schools not complying with the Government Order (GO) on fee for this academic year, the Department of Public Instruction has constituted 40 committees to resolve such disputes.

A circular about the constitution of the various committees was issued by the Commissioner of Public Instruction on Tuesday. The Hindu had reported on parents seeking the departmentโ€™s intervention to resolve their disputes with the schools.

The circular states that a special counter would be opened in the office of the Block Education Officer to receive applications from parents seeking resolution.

Though the government had stated that for the 2020-21 academic year, school managements could charge only 70% of the tuition fee that they charged in 2019-20 and no other fees could be charged given the financial strain faced by parents during the pandemic, many parents have been alleging that school managements have continued to force them to pay the full tuition fee. They have also alleged that schools were not willing to comply with the GO.

In the circular, the Commissioner has directed the committees to dispose of the applications by scheduling hearings every Monday and issuing speaking orders the same day. If the applications are rejected, a clear reason should be communicated and registered. It is also the responsibility of the committees to ensure that issues between parents and schools are resolved within three meetings. The committee heads are also required to submit a report every month on the applications received, disposed of, and action taken.

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