In a move that will bring relief to lakhs of parents across the state, the department of public instruction has put an upper cap on the fee that can be charged by a private school which follows the state syllabus. The education department has gone one step ahead and released toll-free numbers for parents to call, if schools charge beyond the limit. Though the formula to calculate the tuition fee (total salary paid to teachers + 30% of the total salary / strength of students in the last academic year) has been there for the past few years, it has never been followed. The latest notification wants all schools to follow it mandatorily or face action by the District Level Education Regulatory Authorities (DLERA). The notification, dated January 16th, 2012, states that no non-tuition fee should be charged for elementary and primary classes. For classes 6 and 7, the maximum a school can charge as non-tuition fee is Rs 38. It can go up to Rs 185 for classes 8, 9 and 10. This is apart from a special fee of Rs 600 fixed for all classes. In case the school asks for more, parents can dial toll free numbers of DDPI offices to register their complaint.
"The rules are to make the admission process hassle-free for parents. Schools coming under the jurisdiction of the Karnataka Education Act are expected to adhere to the norms. We are not enforcing these rules on unaided schools falling under the guidelines of CBSE and ICSE," said Tushar Girinath, commissioner, DPI. The notification is for the admission procedure and fee structure from Nursery to Class 10, for the academic year 2012-2013. According to the norms, the distribution of application forms should take place between April 20th, 2012, and April 30th, 2012. The first list of selected students should be declared by May 6th, 2012. The schools that fail to adhere to the norms will be liable to face action.
The notification has created a fresh wave of unrest among unaided schools. Managements are questioning the department’s jurisdiction in the admission process. Unaided schools feel such regimentation violates all principles of autonomy. "Maximum autonomy in day-today administration has to be with private unaided institutions. DLERA has no jurisdiction in controlling the admission process in unaided schools," said G.S Sharma, president of the Karnataka Unaided Schools Managements Association. The association says the notification negates the principle of autonomy laid down by the Supreme Court verdict in the case of T.M.A Pai, Educational Institutions v/s State of Karnataka. "The SC had said the decision on the fee must be left to institutions that are not dependent on funds from the government, and that maximum autonomy has to be with the management. Reacting to the association's claims, Girinath said: "The claim being made by the association is completely false. To my knowledge, no verdict by the High Court or Supreme Court has ever stated that such rules cannot be enforced on unaided schools falling under the Karnataka Education Act."
WHAT THE DEPT NOTIFICATION SAYS:
ADMISSION NORMS: Schools to declare the number of seats available and admission time table before April 10, 2012. Distribution of application forms to take place between April 20, 2012 and April 30, 2012. Last date for acceptance of application forms: April 30, 2012. Last date to release list of students selected or rejected: May 3, 2012. First list of students selected should be declared by May 6, 2012, and last date for admission of these students will be May 15, 2012 Second list of meritorious students should be announced by May 16, 2012, for which the last date of admission is May 20, 2012.
Courtesy: Times of India