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Fee fixation committee has become NIA for private schools: PSAJK

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By Owais Gul

Srinagar: Private Schools Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) on Tuesday said that the fee fixation committee of the education department has become National Investigation agency (NIA) for the private schools, saying that the committee is selectively targeting the private schools here under a well-thought-out plan.

Addressing a presser here at a local hotel, PSAJK chairman, G N Var said that fee fixation committee has become NIA for the private schools as it is unnecessarily harassing the schools and closing it for no reasons.

Var said that it is shocking that a 70-year-old retire judge was reemployed and is heading the committee. “I want to ask the government what is the outcome of the committee. Recently, a school in Kulgam was closed by the authorities but later concerned Deputy Commissioner looked into the matter and resolved the issue,” he said.

He said that private schools are being selectively targeted by one way or another while as the missionary schools present in the Valley are enjoying the support of government in every aspect. “The missionary schools are getting Crores of rupees from the government and the rest of private schools are being targeted for no reasons,” he said.

Var added that the schools here have made the books and uniform available for the student but no school has made it mandatory for them to buy the books and uniform from the school premises or from a particular seller. “It is the choice of parents to buy the stuff from anywhere. We will not compel them to buy books and uniform according to our wishes,” he said.

He informed that 152 schools including some leading were closed so far. “The attack of private schools is a well-thought-out to close down the schools here. The government is doing similar to a phrase ‘Give the dog a bad name and kill’,” he said.

Meanwhile, PSAJK condemned what they termed as the certain lobby in administration and few other quarters who in one way or other are trying to destroy the fledgling private education sector in Kashmir, saying that over the last few weeks there has been a sustained effort to undermine the private education sector in Kashmir, which has created a dangerous situation for the entire society.

“Never in the history have private schools been put under such pressure as are now. Revenue authorities, Legal Metrology Department, Directorate of School Education, Fee Fixation Committee, district administration and everybody who wields some sort of power are swooping down on small private schools to harass them. In the name of selling books, schools are being targeted unnecessarily,” he said.

He said that there is no rule, which specifically says that schools cannot keep books in their schools for sale. “Infact in February this year, High Court in New Delhi had allowed the sale of books, uniforms in schools at the tuck shops set up at affiliated schools across the country, holding that the sale of such items does not amount to “commercialisation” of education,” he added.

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