The city government had directed schools to not hike fees till schools remain closed due to COVID-19 and also not levy any charges in the name of development fees or annual fees.
The parents of students of a top private school in the national capital have alleged that the authorities have increased the fee with effect from August despite a Delhi government order restricting any such raise till schools reopen. The city government had directed schools to not hike fees till schools remain closed due to COVID-19 and also not levy any charges in the name of development fees or annual fees.
The parents have approached the Directorate of Education (DoE) against the move by DPS RK Puram and also alleged disparities in fee structure of its two branches. While the school principal has informed parents that their concerns have been raised before the DPS society; Puneet Mittal, the lawyer representing the school, said a petition is pending before the Delhi High Court over the issue of fees.
“The school is not charging annual or development fees but they have increased the tuition fees. There are some dubious heads mentioned in the new receipts such as operational charges and maintenance charges,” said a parent on the condition of anonymity.
”When the schools are closed what are they maintaining? From Rs 9000, we are now supposed to pay Rs 13,000 just for the tuition fee.” Another parent said they sought appointment from the school authorities multiple times to discuss this but there has been no luck.
The overall fees had come down during the lockdown after the Delhi government ordered that only tuition fees can be charged during the period and other heads such as transportation fee, sports fee etc. should not be collected.
”If the tuition fee has been ultimately raised to almost the same amount as we used to pay before the lockdown then what is the relaxation?” the parent asked.
Another parent alleged, “The school has two junior branches — one in Vasant Kunj and one in East of Kailash. How can there be two different fee structures for the two branches of the same school. There should be some parity.”
DPS Lawyer Puneet Mittal, said, “A dispute about no permission by the Delhi government for fee hike is already pending before the court even before the lockdown was announced.”
”The contention over implementation of annual and development charges has also been challenged in the court and the matter is sub-judice. While the schools are closed for students, the operational costs remain the same, the teachers are working double the hours and have to be paid salaries”.
Padma Srinivisan, Officiating Principal, DPS RK Puram, told parents in an email on Monday, “It is informed that the matter regarding fee hike has been put up to the DPS society for consideration. It is for your kind information that the matter is pending before Delhi High Court and has been put up for hearing on October 9.” No immediate reaction was available from DoE officials on the issue.