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Don’t hike fee unilaterally, Directorate to Tyndale Biscoe School

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Taking cognizance of various complaints against the Tyndale Biscoe School, Joint Director Education Kashmir Mr Rouf-ur-Rehman called complainants and school authorities for a meeting on Thursday late afternoon.

Sources said there was a threadbare discussion and both the parties (parents and school representatives) put forth their points of view regarding the hike in annual fees.

During the meeting parents alleged that all schools including the Tyndale Biscoe School are violating the order of the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee issued by the previous chairman Retired Justice Muzafar Hussain Attar. Parents said that Biscoe School is overcharging and not adhering to the previous order issued by the previous chairman Fee and Fixation Committee.

Sources told news agency Kashmir News Trust that parents suggested that 14% should be added to the annual fee fixed in 2019, however, Tyndale Biscoe school authorities said that they are unable to run the school on that meager amount and the matter is still subjudice.

Parents also said that transportation charges vary from school to school and every school charge transportation fee at the sweet will, though the slab for transportation fee is Rs 2,000 only.

A couple of parents requested Joint Director Education to recover all the fees overcharged by Tyndale Biscoe School for the last two years, to which Joint Director Education replied assertively stating that he has no mandate on the subject.

Joint Director Education, however, appealed to the Biscoe School authorities not to treat students and parents as patients and have patience while collecting fees from them. “Nothing will change if you collect the fee 10 days late from parents,” he told school authorities.

Joint Director Education Rouf-ur-Rehman further directed Biscoe School representatives not to hike fees unilaterally and take parents on board before taking any decision. He also suggested to Biscoe school authorities to hold parent-teachers meetings and parent grievances camps on the last Friday or Saturday of the month.

Sources added that parents are mulling meeting the Chairman Fee and Fixation Committee Mr Sunil Hali on the 17th of this month. The Committee on 17th is hearing a complaint about a fee hike lodged by parents against ‘Iqbal Memorial Institute’.

“We should grab this opportunity and apprise the Fee Fixation Committee on this grave issue on that date. We request other parents to visit the Fee Fixation Committee office on 17th so that schools are stopped from hiking fees arbitrarily,” a couple of parents said.

Notably, complaints are pouring in against Tyndale Biscoe School for increasing the annual fee without seeking approval from the competent authority.

A human rights organization also has registered a complaint against the Biscoe School Srinagar before the Directorate of School Education, asking it to initiate action against the said school and also stop it from holding a camp at any hill station amid the erratic weather.

Jammu & Kashmir People’s Forum which is a group working for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in its complaint has stated that a group of aggrieved parents approached the Forum with a genuine grievance that Tyndale Biscoe School administration has enhanced the annual fees of their enrolled students arbitrarily from 3800 to 6000 which has further added woes of parents who are already under financial constraints due to multiple reasons.

The complaint reads that the School administration has also directed the students to deposit an amount of Rs 3500 for annual camping at any hill station.

“It is requested to your good-self that kindly intervene in the matter as parents have ordeal of such Schools who by one or other reason have left the poor parents in an adversity.”

The complaint as per the news agency Kashmir News Trust said that keeping the erratic weather conditions in view, the School administration should be directed to postpone camping program to any hill station till further orders.

The Forum has hoped that the Directorate of School Education will take a prompt action in the matter to avoid further agony of poor parents.

When contacted, Joint Director Education Rouf-ur-Rehman confirmed that there was a discussion on the fee hike subject. He reiterated that only Fee Fixation Committee can take a final call on the subject. [KNT]

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