Saturday 22 Jun 2024

Edu dept cracks down on unauthorised school fees

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 19, 2024, 12:08 AM IST


In the wake of the government-aided Marathi medium of Mushtifund High School admitting to collecting unauthorized fees from students, the Education Department has issued a warning to all aided and unaided schools against engaging in such illegal activities without approval.

A show cause notice issued to the Chairman of Mushtifund’s School Managing Committee on May 17 directs to submit a written explanation as to why action should not be taken against the management for charging illegal fees without prior departmental approval. 

During an initial inquiry following a complaint, the school management admitted to the department about charging Rs 3,950 in fees and Rs 500 in PTA fees from students of the aided Marathi medium. Subsequently, the director issued a show cause notice demanding a reply within seven days.

With this incident raising an alarm, the department has reinforced its warning against such practices in any schools across the state. 

“We had issued a circular in 2017 directing educational institutions not to demand unauthorized fees from students or parents. Unaided schools must obtain prior approval from the department, in case they are levying fees. The circular remains valid, and any violations will result in action,” Education Director Shailesh Zingde told The Goan.

According to the rules, aided schools that receive government grants are not permitted to collect fees, while unaided schools must follow key steps when levying fees: disclosing the fee structure, obtaining mandatory approval, and ensuring any increase does not exceed 10 percent from the previous year.

“No aided schools shall levy any fee or collect any other charges or receive any payment except those specified by the director. Every aided school having different rates of fees or other charges or different funds shall obtain prior approval of the prescribed authority before levying such fees or collecting such charges or creating such funds,” the director added while referring to Section 9 of The Goa School Education Act, 1984. 

Moreover, charging capitation fees is not permissible under The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, Section 19 of the Goa Act and relevant Acts and Rules in force. 

Earlier in the week, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had warned managements of aided schools in Goa against charging additional fees on some pretext or the other and had said action would be initiated if such complaints were received.

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