New Delhi: Delhi government's Directorate of Education (DoE) on Saturday ordered two private schools in the national capital to roll back the fee hike allegedly done without prior permission from the department and refund the amount collected.
The move came after parents of students studying in Delhi Public School Mathura Road and Rohini branches met Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia earlier in the day complaining about the fee hike.
Sisodia directed DoE to take necessary action against the "errant" schools that have not only hiked fees but also "compelled" students to buy books from private publishers.
"Parents have filed detailed complaints with the Deputy Chief Minister alleging that the school authorities have hiked the fee by 13-20 per cent from 2016-17 academic session without prior permission from the directorate," Saumya Gupta, Director, Education, said in the order.
"You are directed to refund the entire enhanced fee to parents collected by the school authorities for the new academic session. You should also not enhance any type of school fee without approval from the Directorate," the order said.
Citing rules, the order said all private unaided recognised schools built on land alloted by DDA/other government agencies on concessional rates or otherwise shall not increase tution fee without prior permission of the Directorate.
Reacting to the order, DPS Mathura Road School Principal Manohar Lal said "I haven't seen the order yet but we will follow DOE's directions".
Authorities at the Rohini branch could not be reached for comment.
The management committees of the schools have been
directed to send compliance reports within seven days and has warned them of action under Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973.
The order has also pointed out the "failure" of two schools in implementing directions of Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee in respect of refund of excess fee collected fee collected from the parents along with interest.
Earlier in the day, Sisodia accused city's private schools of "playing" with the Supreme Court orders and Right to Education Act by hiking fees without the government's nod.
"By hiking fess, these schools are playing with the orders of the Supreme Court and Right to Education Act. Strong warnings should be issued to these schools with directives that they roll back the fee hike and return the amount".
"I have also received a complaint that these schools compel students to buy books from private publishers. This is not only against the principles of education but also a violation of the recent guidelines issued by CBSE," he said.
The Deputy CM had also warned that anything to the contrary will invite strict action from the government.
Government had recently issued show-cause notices to two branches of Maxfort School (Pitampura and Rohini) for alleged "financial bunglings", asking why it should not take over their managements.