Srinagar: Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir has termed the recent order by the Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools J&K (FFRC) regarding the hike in transportation fees as devoid of logic and having no legal basis.
The Association said that it is unable to understand, on what basis has FFRC issued order on transportation charges which is not their mandate. “FFRC was originally framed to regulate academic fee in schools and nowhere in their constitution it is written that they can regulate transportation fee too. In some schools a third party provides transportation services and does this order apply to them too,” said Spokesperson of PSAJK.
The Association said that FFRC should limit its role to the academic fee only and such orders beyond their domain create unnecessary controversy. “These orders not only create mistrust between parents and school administration but also takes a toll on the working of schools,” he said. “As of now Central University of Kashmir (CUK) charges Rs 3250 per student, ours was not that costly. Similarly, RTO provides vehicles while charging more than Rs 80,000 for 28 days, which if availed can be a huge burden on students. That is why we had issued a statement keeping charges at a bare minimum. Now, this order has created controversy at a time when we had sorted out everything. If the need arises the Association will challenge this order of FFRC in court of law.”
The Association said that transportation service is a market-driven service that is affected by the number of factors. “Transportation service involves various government charges like insurance, toll tax, fitness, pollution etc and above all the transportation fee is directly proportional to cost of fuel. We have seen a huge increase in fuel prices during the last few years and the price is expected to rise again in the coming days. In such a situation any curbs on transportation fee will lead to bankruptcy of school transport sector,” the Spokesperson said. “Let the market, schools and parents decide the best feasible rate. There is always an option of third party service before the parents.”
The Association said that it heavily advocates transparency in transportation charges, which is in best interest of every stakeholder. “We are building an app for the transportation sector of private schools which will provide efficient, affordable and quality transportation service to schools. This will also put an end to unnecessary controversies. Parents can themselves see the distance, charges and other expenses. They can themselves choose to avail best available transportation service for them using the app. It will be a transparent service for everyone to see for themselves.” (KNT)