CHENNAI: In a relief to the parents of students, the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee has started the process of fixing the new fee structure to apply from the next academic year for more than 10,000 private schools. The state government recently appointed Justice T.V. Masilamani, retired judge of Madras High Court, as the chairman of the fee determination committee. The previous chairman of the committee Justice S.R. Singaravelu’s term ended on December 30, 2015. After his tenure, the post was vacant for more than a year.
After the appointment of new chairman, the fee committee met for the first time on Tuesday. The committee discussed various issues like the logistics needed for the fee fixation process and enhancing the staff strength for the huge task.“The committee will issue call letters to the private schools asking them to appear before the committee with relevant records from next week,” sources said.
The process is expected to take several months as the committee with limited resources has to give an opportunity for each and every school to present their facts and records. “After going through the records, the committee will fix the fee on the merits of records submitted by the individual school,” sources added. As far as CBSE schools are concerned, the petitions challenging the fee committee orders are pending in the Supreme Court. “But if there are any complaints regarding the excess collection of the fee in these schools, the committee can enquire into it,” sources said.
The committee has the powers to determine the fee to be collected by private schools and hear complaints with regards to collection of the fee in excess of the fee determined by it. However, 2,886 private schools are yet to get the recognition as they do not have approval from DTCP (Directorate of Town and Country Planning) and LPA (Local Planning Authority). As per the rules, the fee committee cannot fix the fee for unrecognised schools.
KR Nandakumar, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association said, “The government should issue recognition for these schools without demanding the DTCP and LPA approvals. These approvals can be made mandatory for new schools and buildings, but not the existing ones.”