May 25, 2012

Bangalore schools punch holes in parents' pockets

Parents sending their wards to reputed private schools in the city and those aspiring to start their kids’ schooling in these institutions will have to tighten their belts. Most of these schools have decided to increase the annual fees by at least by 10%.

A visit by DNA to some of these schools revealed that they have indeed decided to hike the annual fees and some have already issued circulars.

The Cathedral High School in the city has increased the fees to `65,000 per annum. In 2011, the admission fee charged by the school was Rs42,000 and this year it has been increased to Rs65,000. Reacting to this hike a parent said, “The management have begun including donations in the fees. Practices like this were never present before and it is ridiculous.”

There are many schools in the city which are following suit. Even Bethany High School is thinking of increasing the fee. School principal Robert Khin conceded that they are going to increase the fee by 10%. He told DNA, “Every year there will be a slight increase in fees as the prices of all other resources goes up. When you are ready to pay a little extra for your groceries, fuel, etc, why not for your children’s education.”

“I am sending my children to the same school for four years, but the school is increasing 10 to 12% fee in each academic year. This year also they have informed us to bring the extra amount at the time of admission. It is become difficult for us to manage our financial problems,” said Rangarajan a parent, who is sending children to one of the reputed schools in Bangalore North. He did not wish to mention the school’s name.

“We cannot talk against the schools and we are forced to accept whatever new rules made by them, mainly because there is no unity amongst parents. Each one of us thinks that our kids should get a seat in reputed school and we will agree with everything, even if we are not able to satisfy the needs of the school,” said Shruthi Karthik a parent and an employee with the IT firm. She is sending her daughter to one of the reputed schools in the city, which has at least six branches.

There are few schools in the city, where the fee hike has been much more modest - around two to three per cent. However, parents feel that even this would be difficult to manage.

For example Sophia’s High School has raised the annual fee amount to Rs42,000, from Rs40,000. Even Baldwin’s Girl’s School have raised it to Rs32,000 from last year’s Rs30,000.

Reacting to this, Swagatha Raju, a parent who is sending her daughter to Sophia’s said, “Two thousand is not a small amount, being salaried employees we have our own commitments. School management is raising the fee like this every year, but we are not seeing any changes in our salaries. Schools should consider middle class parents like us while increasing fee.”

Many parents there did agree with Swagatha. Kushala another parent, who got seat for her daughter said, “With the facilities begin provided, I think the marginal increase is very much fair. But if the schools make it a habit every year, it would be difficult for us to afford.”

Year after the school fee hike trauma, victim scores 85% in ICSE

It took two years for Adhishree Kulkarni, a victim of the school fee hike row, to finally get justice.

The 15-year-old was expelled from VIBGYOR School at Goregaon in the middle of her class 9, after her mother opposed the school fee hike.

Kulkarni, who has secured 85% in her ICSE exam, wants to become a lawyer so that she can fight for human rights and bring them justice.

Her case was flashed on every television channel when she was victimised for her mother’s involvement in raring an opposition for the school fee hike. Stranded in the middle of her class 9, she was lucky to get admission at St Gregorious School, Chembur. But the school was nearly 35km away from her Goregaon home. Every day the teenagers commuted for nearly two hours to and from school.

“I did not have a choice but face hardship.I used to leave for school at 7am and reach home by 6pm. Though I was exhausted at the end of the day, sleeping was not an option. I would stay up all night revising my lessons,’’ she said.She studied on her own and did not opt for tuitions.

It was tough for Kulkarni when she joined a new school in the middle of the academic year. She tried to fit in, make new friends and study at the same time.

“Students avoid changing schools in class 9 or 10, because it takes time to get comfortable. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I was faced with the challenge of trying to fit in the new school when I should have been focusing on studies. It took a long time but I did it,” she said.

Rasbihari fee hike issue escalates as management refuses to meet parents

NASHIK: After the Rasbihari International School's (RIS) management refused to meet parents on Tuesday to discuss the school's fee hike, anguished parents gave an ultimatum of 20 days for withdrawal of the hike, failing which they threatened to launch an agitation and move court. Parents who arrived at the school on Tuesday were greeted with a notice board that said that since the issue was pending with the education department after parents complained about the fee hike and the school had filed its reply, there was no point in holding the meeting.

Parents have given the school an ultimatum of 20 days to roll back the fee hike. They have warned of an indefinite hunger strike and threatened to move court if the RIS management does not roll back the fee hike.

"We have given an ultimatum of 20 days to the school to roll back the tuition fees. Otherwise, we will resort to an indefinite hunger strike in front of the school from June 13 and will also move court on the issue," members of the parents' committee Harish Jain and Suresh Desale said. The parents assembled at the school also decided against paying fees till a decision was taken by the education department of the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC). Jain added, "The school management at the eleventh hour cancelled the meeting, claiming that the issue was pending with the NMC's education department. Hence, we have decided not to pay the fees until a decision is taken by the education department."

The school management declined to comment on the issue, saying that their stand had been mentioned in the notice board put up at the entrance of the school. The notice board featured this message, "On May 15, parents had complained to the education department of the NMC against the school over the fee hike issue. Accordingly, the department has issued a written notice to the school in this connection on May 19. The school has also replied to the notice over the issue. Hence, it will not be proper to hold a meeting as the matter is now pending with the education department."

Desale said, "A meeting had been scheduled on Tuesday over the fee hike issue, but the school management is not ready to hold talks with parents. Our objective is to solve the issue through dialogue and discussions, but they didn't reciprocate. The school management is not being accountable."

It may be recalled that on April 30, parents of children studying in RIS, who had come to school with their wards to collect report cards, had staged a rasta roko on the MERI-Mumbai-Agra national highway (NH3) link road after they came to know about the hike in tuition fees from Rs 1,900 to Rs 3,100 per month. Their demonstration was temporarily suspended after police officials intervened and spoke to the parents and the school administration. A decision was taken for joint meetings on the issue between the school chairman, trustees and parents on May 22.

The school fees, which were Rs 600 per month in 2006-07, have been increased to Rs 3,100 a month in the year 2012-13. Fees were increased to Rs 800 a month in 2007-08, Rs 900 a month in 2008-09, Rs 1,200 a month in 2009-10, Rs 1,400 a month in 2010-11, Rs 1,900 a month in 2011-12 and to Rs 3,100 a month for the academic year 2012-13.

May 19, 2012

Schools, parents panic over Maharashtra government's order on implementing Right to Education Act

Shreya Bhandary,TNN | May 17, 2012, 02.37AM IST
MUMBAI: The state government's sudden announcement asking schools to redo their admission process at the entry level has left schools as well as parents in a state of panic. While schools are worried about accommodating students at the last moment, parents are hassled about going through the entire process all over again.

"The directive should have come long back, especially when the government knows the process in most schools get done by mid-March. How do we explain this procedure to parents who have confirmed seats with us?" asked Lalitha Hariharan, principal, Rizvi Springfield in Bandra (W). Most schools were worried about the chaos over the new rule. "The government is expecting too many things at the last moment from schools. How do we balance everything?" she said.

Educationists are blaming the government for its lax behaviour on implementation of various clauses of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. "The Supreme Court never directed any stay on the admission procedure, why didn't the government make the clause compulsory for schools this year itself? Now, by suddenly bringing up the matter when schools have finished their admission procedure, makes no sense," said Jayant Jain, president, Forum for Fairness in Education. He added that if the government reduces the reservation clause for the year, there may be a chance to incorporate students from weaker sections of society in schools. "It is possible for schools to accommodate four to five students in every class, but 25% is impossible to attain now," he added.

Parents are worried about losing out on seats that they have got after going through procedures at various schools. "How does the government expect schools to make way for new students when schools have already finished their admission process? We have spent a lot of time and energy in getting a seat in a school of our choice. We will take the matter to court if we have to," said Rajneesh Batra, who has sought admission for his four-year-old daughter to a school in Juhu.

Schools are also worried about covering up costs for the 25% students who will seek admission in their schools. "While the government is only paying a small amount in the name of fees, what about the rest of the expenses? Our revenues will be drained by half, how do we cover up for the remaining expenses? We will have to depend on a fee hike from the remaining 75% students," said the managing trustee of a school in Navi Mumbai.

May 16, 2012

School teachers win salary battle

MUMBAI: Teachers of St Xavier's High School in Nerul have a reason to celebrate. The Bombay high court on Friday passed an order in their favour and asked the school management to pay teachers in keeping with the Sixth Pay Commission with immediate effect.

Activists feel this judgment will pave the way for payment of all schoolteachers under the Sixth Pay Commission.

"This has been a long fight but in the end, justice has been done," said a source associated with the school, adding: "This should be a good example for other schools to follow." The management will also have to pay teachers arrears for the past one year. The issue surfaced in December 2010 when the schoolteachers refused to conduct classes till the management agreed to pay them under the Sixth Pay Commission.

"While in most cases parents are opposed to fee hikes, in our school, guardians understood our plight and agreed to pay the revised fees. Still, our school was not paying us what we deserved," said one of the teachers.

Nobody from the school management was, however, available for comment.

With the order in place, teachers of the school will now get almost double their current salary because till date, the school staff was not even being paid under the Fifth Pay Commission.

Educationists and experts called it a landmark judgement, which would boost the morale of teachers. A government resolution on the Sixth Pay Commission, which was yet to be implemented in many schools, made it clear that institutes could hike their fees by no more than 50% in order to pay the revised salaries to teachers.

Several schools, however, ended up hiking fees upto 80%.

"For years, numerous complaints have been lodged by teachers but exploitation by the authorities of schools continued. They hiked fees on the pretext of increasing teachers' salaries but never actually hiked the teachers' pay. Now, there's no way they can back out," said Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education.

May 10, 2012

More tap iPad Apps for biology lessons

BANGALORE: Shivakumar, principal of Delhi Public School, Surat, was fascinated by the educational apps on the App Store which matched his school's curriculum. And soon he started encouraging his teachers to use iPads for research.

"While teaching the parts of the body, we use an app where the visual body is displayed. Curious students were allowed to tear down the ribs with this app, see what each rib is made up of and rearrange them back. This form of teaching has a greater impact on students who understand the concepts better than those who learn their subjects by rote," he says.

Beginning this academic year, many schools across India will be formally including iPads as an educational tool for students. It has already started in a phased manner in schools like Delhi Public School, Surat, where over 600 students from kindergarten to Class 2 have started working on iPads.

In many others, like the Canadian International School, Bangalore, all the students from classes 8 to 12 have been asked to bring their own iPads when they start the academic year. And at schools under the Universal Educational Group, over 20,000 students have already been given access to iPads.

Using iPads as an educational tool is not new. But the scale of adoption will be going up this academic year, mainly because of the efforts of tech-savvy school principals. "All 200 teachers at his school were provided individual iPads which they connect to TV sets provided in individual classrooms," says Shivakumar.

For students who wanted to do practical worksheets, an iPad lab was opened where they could spend some time. Worksheets based on specific topics are downloaded from the App Store and given to students to solve, says Shivakumar.

"For instance, if algebra is taught, a number of fun games related to it are downloaded and students work on it during their spare time," he says.

To take the concept home, the school encouraged parents to be part of their 'iPads at home' programme wherein they were asked to assist children with their project work and studies by using iPads at home. "Of the 1,200 students in the primary classes, 600 parents use iPads to help their children in their studies," he says.

Those parents who don't have iPads can use the traditional worksheets to help their children. While it is still an optional tool at Delhi Public School, Surat, at others like the Universal Educational Group, iPads have already become part of the curriculum. A 60-member tech team is initiating the group's 20,000 students spread across different schools in Maharashtra and the UAE on iPad use.

Each child at these schools is given access for 20 minutes a day to use iPads. "While students from nursery to class 2 are taught with the help of iPod Touch, all students from Class 3 are given access to iPads," says Jesus SM Lall, Chairman & CEO, Universal Education Group.

"We had piloted the project in 2009 and it has been implemented full scale," he says. "We give them limited access to iPads because we don't want to replace the traditional style of teaching," says Lall. The group's technology team and teachers have compiled an entire library of apps under various subject categories to be used by each class. "This includes everything from alphabet to pictures to stories to rhymes," says Lall.

Another tech-savvy principal, Avnita Bir of RN Podar School (affiliated to the CBSE board), Mumbai, is now allowing her students to bring iPads to school if they want to. She finds it of particular help to CBSE students who, unlike other educational boards, have to score marks based on a continuous assessment pattern. "Students have to thoroughly understand the concept, if they have to answer the questions," she explains.

A pilot study on the use of iPads was conducted at her school for class 7. What interested her was the fact that the class created his/her own personalised content when they were given a topic to work on with the help of iPads. "While teaching history, for instance, we ask the students to create cartoon strips or create a short video clip using their iPads on the subject they are learning," says Bir.

"Very often, no two projects created by students are the same. Different aspects on the same subject are brought out. The end result is that the class creates its own learning content," she explains. Breathing life into content with the help of iPads has been the main focus of schools like the Canadian International School, Bangalore, where all the 200 to 250 students from classes 8-12 will start this academic year with iPads.

"Textbooks are static. This is the reason why we encourage students to take photographs of flowers and trees in the neighbourhood when we teach them aspects of plant life," says Melanie Kells, Dean of Studies, Canadian International School, Bangalore.

"Once this is done, we ask them to upload these photographs on iPads and annotate the content. They are encouraged to do project work on iPads and then take printouts for the final submission," she says.

"Teachers have been using this in a big way," she says. "They design the content to be taught with the iPads." "Students are able to create their own personalized content and are able to thoroughly understand the concepts," she says. Talking about the security issues involved, as students may tend to use the Net for the wrong reasons, Ms Kells says: "Measures are built within the iPads which identify certain words and immediately block them. In the primary classes, the students are given access to iPads only under a teacher's supervision."

May 4, 2012

Postcards from the margins


Social inclusion in education is still a long way off even two years after the Right to Education Act came into force.

Morning prayers at a school in Jammu. Though the onus of providing accessible and quality education rests on the state, its apathy has ensured that there is a surge in the demand for admission to private schools.

EVERY day, in the Delhi High Court, eight to 10 postcards written by children across the national capital reach the chambers of an advocate who has been battling relentlessly for the right to education of children, especially those from the poor sections of society. Neat and legible, almost all the letters are in Hindi. They are complaints about the denial of admission to schools and the lack of infrastructure there, and about fees and teaching. One letter from a child in East Delhi reads thus: “Dear sir, there is no light in my school, no bench, no toilet, no discipline. Pupils constantly play on the ground, while teachers sit outside the class. When I asked my teacher to teach, I was slapped. I want teachers to be honest, and I want to be an honest police officer.”

Another letter, from Shruti, studying in class five of the government-run Sarvodaya Girls School, says: “Sir, the government has placed so many conditions for the Laadli scheme. I filled in the form but have not received the money or a receipt. If I get the money, I will give you a party.” The Laadli scheme, in several north Indian States, is an incentive-based scheme meant to promote education of the girl child and ensure her retention in school. At regular intervals or after the completion of certain levels, the child is given a cash entitlement. In a third postcard, a domestic help, requesting anonymity, pleads with the advocate to intervene on her behalf with the principal of a private school who had threatened to throw out her children for non-payment of fees.

The postcards speak volumes about the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which came into force on April 1, 2010. It made the right to education justiciable, envisaging that every child in the 6-14 age group should have access to a neighbourhood school. The word “free” in the title stands for the removal by the state of any financial barrier that prevents a child from completing eight years of schooling.

Supreme Court judgment
In a recent majority judgment, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Act and its application to schools owned or controlled by the government or a local authority; aided schools, including aided minority schools; schools belonging to specified categories; and unaided non-minority schools not receiving any aid or grant from the government or the local authority. The order exempted unaided minority schools from the Act's application on the argument that it infringed on the fundamental freedom guaranteed to such schools under Article 30(1), which gives minorities the right to establish and to administer educational institutions of their choice.

The petitioners in the case, associations representing various private schools, while calling the insertion of Article 21A of the Constitution (following which the Act came into existence) a revolutionary step, had challenged some sections of the Act that cast an obligation on all elementary educational institutions to admit children from their neighbourhood on the principle of social inclusiveness. They also challenged other provisions that were purportedly interfering with the administration, management and functioning of these institutions. For instance, they challenged Section 12(1)(c) of the Act, which cast an obligation on both non-minority and minority institutions to fill at least 25 per cent of the seats in class 1 and preschool sections with children from among those falling under Sections 2(d) and 2(e) (children belonging to the weaker sections and disadvantaged groups of society).

The Law Commission, in its 165th report, referring to the Constitution (Eighty-Third Amendment) Bill, 1997, which proposed to insert 21A in the Constitution, had advised that it was not desirable or advisable to keep unaided educational institutions outside the proposed Article altogether. The idea was that while the sole primary obligation of education was upon the state, educational institutions, whether aided or unaided, supplemented this effort. It recommended that these institutions must be made to impart free education to 50 per cent of the students admitted to their institutions.

In the recent Supreme Court verdict, the judgment of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, which disagreed with that of the other two judges in the Bench (Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar), averred that where socio-economic rights had been given the status of constitutional rights, those rights were available only against the state and not against entities such as private schools or private hospitals unless they got aid, grants or other concessions from the state. Interestingly, it was also observed that a shift in the state's functions to private entities was because of liberalisation of the economy and privatisation of state functions. While the primary responsibility for children's rights lay with the state, it also had a duty to regulate private institutions that cared for children so as to protect children from violence, abuse and economic exploitation. At the same time, private entities were expected to respect and protect the rights of the child but were not expected to surrender the rights constitutionally guaranteed to them, it said.

The minority judgment was also critical of earlier judgments (in the T.M.A. Pai Foundation case and the Inamdar case) that placed a negative obligation on private educational institutions in a manner suggesting that there should be no profiteering, demand for excessive fee, capitation fee, maladministration or cross-subsidy. However, such judgments also said that acts by the state to control or regulate admissions to unaided professional institutions insofar as to compel them to give up a share of the seats to candidates chosen by the state would amount to nationalisation of seats and would be an encroachment on the autonomy and right of such institutions. Had the Constitution wanted the obligation to be shared by private unaided educational institutions, it would have been made explicit in Article 21A, Justice Radhakrishnan's judgment said.

The minority judgment lauded the purpose and object of the Act, that is, social inclusiveness in the field of education, but held that the means adopted to achieve that objective was faulty and constitutionally impermissible. Section 12(1)(c), it held, was only directional and it should be read as being open to private unaided educational institutions, both minority and non-minority, at their volition to admit children who belong to the weaker sections and disadvantaged groups in the neighbourhood in their educational institutions.

Types of schools
Apparently, of 12,50,775 schools imparting elementary education in the country in 2007-08, as many as 80.2 per cent were government schools, 5.8 per cent private aided schools, and 13.1 per cent private unaided schools. Almost 87.2 per cent of the schools were located in rural areas; the proportion of private unaided schools was only 9.3 per cent and that of aided schools 4.7 per cent. In urban areas, the proportions of private unaided and aided schools were 38.6 and 13.4 per cent respectively. Of the total students enrolled in primary classes in 2007-08, about 75.4 per cent, 6.7 per cent and 17.8 per cent respectively were enrolled in government, aided and unaided schools. Proportionately, the total number of teachers working in these schools was the highest in government schools, followed by aided schools and then private unaided schools.

There is no doubt that the onus of providing accessible and quality education rests on the state. But given the demand generated by the RTE Act itself, there has been a surge in the demand for admission to private schools. To realise the concept of neighbourhood schools and to make mandatory the reservation of 25 per cent of the seats for children from economically weaker sections in unaided schools as well, the Act provides for reimbursement by the state of the per capita expenditure of each child. Such reimbursement, it held, shall not exceed the expenditure incurred for a child by a school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate government or local authority.

“When the government can run its schools with a particular sum, we see no reason why an unaided private school should charge fees more than what is spent on a child by the government,” Ashok Aggarwal, advocate for the non-governmental organisation Social Jurist told Frontline. The organisation founded by him several years ago is singularly devoted to getting children, especially those with indigent backgrounds, admitted to schools. According to him, the surge in the demand for education overall has been an outcome of campaigns by government as well as non-government agencies working in the area of child rights. Unfortunately, as government schools were apathetic to this demand, parents were increasingly gravitating towards private schools under the impression that they were better in terms of quality, he said. And they were prepared to pay huge amounts as fees.

He said that on March 21, the Government of Delhi approved Rs.1,190 as the expenditure for a child a month on elementary education and reimbursable to private unaided schools in respect of children from economically weaker sections. It was also decided that no reimbursement would be made to schools that had been allotted land by the government at concessional rates. “The sum of Rs.1,190 can be safely taken as an ideal figure for the purpose of payment of school fees per child,” said Aggarwal.

Aggarwal, who founded the All India Parents Association, is of the view that if any unaided private school found that Rs.1,190 was not enough, it could show its financial accounts to the government and prove that the school was spending more on the student and hence was eligible to charge a higher fee. “When the Act came, the government began publicising the 25 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections [EWS] category. But no rules were framed. I had to approach the court for the rules, and finally it was ordered to be framed within two weeks. The problem is complex. Private schools used teachers to victimise parents and vice-versa. All categories of parents have a common issue and from the point of a constitutional right, every child should get free and quality education,” he said. Each year, he said, almost one lakh students dropped out of private schools because of the inability to pay fees and sought admission in government schools. There were cases, he said, where parents had to withdraw one child from school in order to educate the rest of their children. “What is bothersome is that the government's intention to improve schools is still wanting. The moot point is that the crisis lies in government schools and the solution is also there,” he said.

There were 9,835 seats vacant in the EWS category for nursery classes in 1,163 private schools in Delhi alone, he said, and the High Court had ordered that the seats be filled before the commencement of the summer break. Aggarwal estimated that almost one lakh children had benefited from seeking admissions under the EWS category.

On April 25, the Delhi High Court pulled up the Delhi government for being unsympathetic to some 700 students of a government school in north-west Delhi. For the last three years, the school was being run in tents. Incidentally, it was Aggarwal who pointed out that despite the orders of the court on February 12 to construct portable cabins as a temporary arrangement pending the construction of a permanent building, the government had done little in this regard.

On February 18, Aggarwal, as a member of the High Court-appointed committee for inspection of schools, visited the school concerned only to find that all the 700 students were sitting in the open. The school building, constructed 25 years ago, had been declared dangerous three years ago. The court has now ordered the government to submit a status report within a fortnight.

There is no doubt about a transformation taking place. The impetus to the transformation, unfortunately, has not come from the government. The lack of interest on the part of the government to enforce the law has led private educational institutions to challenge the clauses in the Act that make the inclusion of EWS category students mandatory. If the government dithers on pushing aggressively to ensure that every child is in school at least up to 14 years, the constitutionality of the Act will continue to be challenged by those who resist social inclusion.

May 3, 2012

Schools can’t increase fees without Board nod, says HC

In a significant development and respite for parents, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today restrained the schools in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana from hiking fees without obtaining prior permission from the Education Boards and Councils they are affiliated to. “No fee and other charges shall be enhanced by any school situated within the territorial jurisdiction of this court and affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, Punjab School Education Board and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, without prior approval of the respective Board/ Council”, a division bench comprising Justice S K Mittal and Justice TPS Mann held today.

The Bench has also issued directions to ensure that no books other than NCERT were prescribed in Punjab schools. The schools have been directed to take their respective Education Boards into confidence before any fee hike. The Bench has also directed that schools would submit their profit and loss statement for the past five years to the Central Board of Secondary Education, ICSE or Punjab School Education Board where they were affiliated.

Also, no CBSE affiliated schools would prescribe books published by publishers other than NCERT. The directions were issued on three PILs filed raising the same issue.

One of the petitions has been jointly filed by 10 students from Malerkotla while two other petitioners were city-based NGOs Anti Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell and All India Crime Preventing Society. Senior lawyer Pawan Kumar, counsel for the petitioners, sought directions to authorities to curb the menace of irrational and whimsical school fee hike by the schools.

The petitioner, referred to several Supreme Court judgments which hold that each school would maintain the account of the schools on the principles of non-business organisation.

Citing the example of a school in Punjab, the petitioner stated that in academic session 2009, the school was charging fee that included admission fee of Rs 3,500, annual charges of Rs 4,500 besides quarterly tuition fee, computer fee, science fee, conveyance fee and building fund amounting to total of Rs 5,000.

The fee was subsequently hiked in the following years. In academic year starting in 2012, the fee had been hiked to annual charges Rs 11,000, development fee Rs 2,000 besides other fees charged on quarterly basis.

The petitioner stated that as per calculation, in 2010, total amount of Rs 1.08 crore had been collected by the school as annual charges while the same was Rs 1.87 crore for the session in 2011. This is besides the students being forced to buy stationary and school dress from school shops.

The bench today issued directions to Punjab School Education Board, ICSE and CBSE to file affidavit about the schools in their jurisdiction and also that have all the schools’ filed profit and loss account for the past five years

The Boards have also been asked to file their responses as to it was being ensured that teachers were getting salaries as per norms and Right to Education Act was being followed by these schools.