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WB: Cabinet nod to set up commission to regulate private school fees

August 8, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

The Bengal cabinet on Monday approved the setting up of a commission that will determine fees collected by private schools and recommend the same to the state government.

The commission will also hear complaints about collection of excess fees and recommend actions against such schools in consultation with the state government on the interest of students’ education.

The state cabinet on Monday approved the setting up of the West Bengal Private School Regulatory Bill 2022 that seeks to setting up of a panel to monitor private schools, will be tabled in the state Assembly in its ongoing session, a senior official of the education department said.

The commission will be headed by a retired judge of high court who will be appointed by the state government, the official said.

The commission will be empowered to fix the students’ fees of private schools depending on the availability of infrastructure and other facilities of the institutions, the official said .

A hearing will be arranged by the commission it it receives a complaint about collection of fees beyond the amount fixed by it. The decision taken by the commission after the hearing will be then forwarded to the state government and the erring school, the official said.

In 2017 the state government had set up the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission to monitor fees charged by private hospitals. The education commission will be similar to the one set up for fixing the fees of private hospitals, the official said.

Some other states like Tamil Nadu has also set up similar commissions to regulate fees of private schools. The commission to be set up in Bengal will function along the same model, the official said.

The commission  will have representatives of the Delhi -based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, the Central, Board of Secondary Education which affiliate most of the private schools in Bengal. It will also have the state commissioner of school education, the director of the state council of educational research and training and two eminent persons from the field of education who will be nominated by the chief minister. The panel can also co-opt other members with prior approval of the state government.

Chief minister, Mamata Banerjee had asked state chief secretary H. K. Dwivedi to examine whether a commission  to regulate private schools could be set after education minister Bratya Basu brought to her notice about the complaints regarding excess fees charged by a section of private schools.

The education minister had said in the state Assembly last year that a commission would be set up along the model of the health commission  to look into complaints regarding excess fees charged by some schools.

Also Read: WB: Court rejects Partha Chatterjee’s bail plea in school jobs scam

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