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95% private schools keep fees within govt-set limit for the new session: Assam

Just around 95% of the 1,700 schools that submitted to the state government’s fee regulatory committee since October last year for a certificate of exemption from fee cuts by the panel for the session 2021-2022 provided affidavits stating that their fee arrangement was well below the maximum cap notified by the state government, according to a member of the FRC.

The remaining 5% petitioned the panel to reconsider their decision to authorize them to charge higher fees than those set by the government. The state government, on the advice of the FRC, announced the controlled fees for Classes I to XII in a notification dated October 19, 2020. The commission would not have jurisdiction over missionary colleges.

According to the regulations, private schools in Assam – except those registered as minority schools – must submit to the FRC for fee fixing through the portal www.feeregulatoryassam.com.

However, schools that charge less than the sum specified by the government in the notification must apply for a fee exemption card. However, schools proposing to charge more than the allowable sum notified must submit to the FRC to get their fees set. These schools issued a detailed explanation for the proposed fee in accordance with the Assam Non-Government Educational Institutions (Fee Regulation) Act, 2018.

As a result, schools asked for their fees to be set for the academic session 2021-22,” Pankaj Das, president of the All Assam Private Schools’ Association and a member of the panel, said. The fee problem has become more pressing after the disruption of offline classes less than a month after they began in the new academic session on April 1. There has been no announcement about the 20-25 days of on-campus classes already missed during the second cycle. However, if normalcy does not return after the month-long summer vacation that concludes in mid-June and online classes remain the sole mode of imparting education, the government could be forced to intervene.

About 1,700 schools in Assam appealed to the FRC to get their fees clarified. “Any changes to the fee structure as a result of the closing of schools for Covid must be approved by the government, not our committee,” FRC Chairman RC Jain said.

However, for senior secondary levels (Classes XI-XII), the limits are Rs 37,000 for science, Rs 32,000 for humanities, Rs 33,000 for industry, and Rs 35,000 for all other subjects (for any other stream). Transportation costs are not included in the charge number.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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