Srinagar: A day after the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) suspended the recognition of a private school in Srinagar for allegedly charging “exorbitant” fees, parents whose kids are enrolled at the school accused the directorate of “destroying the future of students” who are weeks away from writing Board exams.
The DSEK on Friday suspended the recognition of RP High School, Mallabagh, saying the institution was “running affairs in the context of fee structure in contravention of the rules and regulations.”
It said that parents had been “consistently” complaining that the school charging higher fees than those prescribed by the Fee Fixation Committee (FFC), a body formed to regulate the fee structure of privately run institutions in the state.
Several parents whose wards are enrolled at RP School, however, told Kashmir Reader that the DSEK had “singled out” the institution even though it charges less fees than other private schools.
“This is nonsense. My children are studying in the school and the fee structure is less than in other schools. Why has the DSEK singled out this school only?” asked Dr Masood Rashid, a parent from Srinagar.
Rashid said the DSEK’s decision was a “deliberate attempt to destroy the future of students, especially those who are going to write upcoming Board exams.”
Some parents distanced themselves from the “self-styled parents’ association” which had lodged the complaint against RP School at DSEK.
“I do not know who has formed this association. Who has given them the consent?” asked a parent, adding that the parents who complained against the school were actually “extortionists and their only aim is to get extra benefits for their own children.”
“They usually blackmail school authorities,” he added.
Several other parents criticised the DSEK for singling out RP School while taking no action against other schools that violated the FFC’s orders on fee regulation.
Scores of parents also took to Facebook to express their anguish against the DSEK’s decision.
The DSEK in an order issued in July had admitted that private schools were “not implementing the orders passed by the FFC, especially with regard to charging of fee as per the order of the FFC.”
An official from RP School said that suspension of recognition to the school by the DSEK was a result of “miscommunication”.
“We had a meeting with the parents and the FFC at the latter’s office wherein the parents expressed faith in the FFC’s framed fee structure. We asked the FFC officials to give us a written communication to present at the DSEK, but the FFC told us they would mail the communication to the DSEK,” said the school official.
“We were shocked over yesterday’s order wherein they have suspended the recognition,” he said.
Chairman FFC, Justice (retd) Hakeem Imtiyaz, declined to comment over the DSEK’s move.
The FFC chairman, however, said that a meeting of the FFC committee members to review the RP School’s fee structure would be held after the new Secretary School Education assumes charge, as he is also one of the committee members.
Director School Education Kashmir, GN Itoo, did not respond to calls and texts made by this reporter.