Srinagar: In an unprecedented decision the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to take over the management of a private school for grave violations of norms.
“From the record available with FFRC, it prima facie appears that the school has not been set up and is not being run to impart education to the children but has been created as a source of money making,” FFRC Chairman Muzaffar Hussain Attar said in his 18-page order. The Chairman was disposing of the complaints lodged by parents against Tiny Harts School, Tengpora in Srinagar.
According to the order, the Principal Secretary of the Education Department has been communicated to appoint an administrator for the school to ensure that the education of the nearly 1,000 students enrolled there does not suffer. The order further reads the Administrator thus appointed by has to ensure that only tuition fee is charged from the students while salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff is paid in time. The surplus amount realised as fee has to be deposited in a separate account.
Among the complaints against the school were charging of admission fees which is banned by statute, inadequate teaching staff and shabby classrooms which the FFRC termed as “dungeon”. It has been clarified in the order that the law provides to the person who runs the Educational institution many benefits, including tax exemptions, as in law, the education is being treated as charity. The same has been repeatedly stated by the Supreme Court. But some people including the owner of the school in question , has converted charity into commerce.
The order further reads that the deterioration of affairs in the Tiny Harts school has put the future of the Children to jeopardy. The waters are rising fast, so it becomes statutory and legal duty to safeguard the interest of the student community.
The order reveals that the school management has also violated norms by hiking the annual fee from Rs 700 to Rs 6,000 in one go.
The order also contains details about the delegation of powers vested with the committee by virtue of RTE Act, 2009 and rules adopted by the committee.
Order also refers to the complaints of parents about issuance of fake receipts by School authority in respect of Admission fee and Annual Fee.
The order also states that an educational institution by it very legal character is a public asset and the person who set up same hold it in the capacity of institutions and not as owners, and are accountable for every action.