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Delhi government to take charge of top private school for ‘arbitrary’ fee hike

New Delhi: Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Thursday that the Delhi government will take over the management of a private school in Rohini over alleged arbitrary fee hikes. ‘Delhi government had issued orders several times to reverse the arbitrarily increased fees by the school, but the school management has failed every time to comply with these orders. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had accepted the proposal of the DoE to take over the management of Bal Bharati School. This file was sent to the Lieutenant-Governor, which has now been approved,’ Mr. Sisodia said. ‘If any school increases fees arbitrarily then stern action will be taken against them,’ he said in an official statement.

As part of its response, the school said it has not heard from the DoE and asserted that it has always operated within the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act and Rules (DSEAR) and followed all court judgments.

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‘We are getting to know about all this only through media. We are yet to get any communication from the DoE and will analyze the entire issue once we receive any direct communication,’ Principal Geeta Ganwani said. ‘Bal Bharati Public School has always operated within the provisions of DSEAR and followed all the judgments given by Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on related issues in the past and will continue to do so in future also. We will like to ensure parents of our students that we will always protect the interests of our students,’ the principal added.

According to DoE officials, the department had conducted a detailed examination of Bal Bharati School’s financial statements for the years 2016-2017 to 2017-2018.

‘During the detailed review of the records, it was found that the total funds with the school for the year 2017-2018 were Rs 23.81 crore. Out of this amount, Rs 20.94 crore was supposed to be spent. Even after spending Rs 20.94 crore, the school management had a net surplus of about Rs 2.87 crore. After this, the Directorate of Education concluded that there is no need for the school management to raise the fees. In this regard, the DoE declined to accept the fee hike proposed by the school for the academic session 2017-2018,’ a senior DoE official said.

Further, the official noted that the school’s fee increases for 2017-18 need to be further adjusted. However, the Delhi government was again complained to by parents that the school had increased fees several times in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and asked them to pay arrears.

‘Furthermore, we sent a notice asking the school, on May 10, 2019, to explain why its recognition should not be revoked or why it shouldn’t be taken over by the government. The reply received by the school was not satisfactory. In view of this situation, the Delhi government has initiated the process of taking control of the school, and the file has been sent to Lieutenant-Governor for approval. Lieutenant-Governor has approved the file and further proceedings are underway,’ the official added.

Yesterday, the Delhi government approved the takeover of Apeejay School in Shekh Sarai over the same issue. The school administration has denied all allegations and has maintained that the matter is sub-judice.



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