Random checks, audits ordered in Delhi schools

January 21st, 2009 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) After complaints surfaced from anxious parents that several schools in the capital were sharply hiking fees, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to carry out random checks and audits in the 750 unaided schools that it recognises.”Under the Delhi School Education Act, schools have no right to raise their fees without informing the MCD. Now, we will conduct random checks on financial accounts and audits at the 750 (unaided) schools,” MCD standing committee chairperson Vijender Gupta said.

According to the MCD, the Shri Ram School’s junior wing, in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar and where children of senior bureaucrats, businessmen and politicians study, will face “strictest action” in case it has raised its fees without informing the civic body.

The school had increased its quarterly fees by nearly 30 per cent in the senior wing in a bid to collect money for clearing teachers’ arrears.

The MCD will also ask the schools for information about their expenses and by how much fees have been raised in the past few years.

“Any school found to have raised its fees without permission or intimation will be asked to refund this,” Gupta added.

With teachers’ dues mounting after the Sixth Pay Commission report and the Delhi government’s delay in acting on the final recommendations of the Bansal Committee, schools are now tapping parents to raise money.

Among the several schools recognised by the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) that may come under the scanner for increasing fees are Mount Carmel School, Ramjas School and Apeejay School.

The DoE has already received a complaint against the Mount Carmel School for hiking fees without the government’s approval.

“The school has increased its fees by 30 percent and threatened the students of classes X and XII that their admit cards would be held back if they don’t pay the arrears from January to April. We have asked the DoE to order the school to refund the hiked amount to the parents, who have already paid,” said Ashok Agarwal, an advocate from Social Jurist, an NGO that takes up judicial cases for socially relevant causes.

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