Regulating transportation fee of schools not FFRC’s mandate: PSAJK

Says order will be challenged

Irfan Tramboo

SRINAGAR, Mar 12: Day after the Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools J&K (FFRC) asked the private schools to temporarily hike the transportation fees by 12 per cent, the Private Schools Association of J&K (PSAJK) today termed the directives “devoid of logic” while stating that the same will be challenged in the court.
The Association said that issuing orders on the transportation charges is not the committee’s mandate and that it is unable to understand the grounds on which the order has been issued.
“FFRC was originally framed to regulate academic fees in schools and nowhere in their constitution is it written that they can regulate transportation fees too. In some schools a third party provides transportation services and does this order apply to them too,” PSAJK said.
It suggested the FFRC limit its role to the academic fee only while underlining that issuance of such orders creates unnecessary controversies.
“These orders not only create mistrust between parents and school administration but also take a toll on the working of schools,” the Spokesperson of the PSAJK said.
Earlier, the FFRC said that after it received several complaints from the parents regarding the undue hike by the schools in the transportation fee and issued an order directing the schools to go in with a temporary hike of 12 per cent in the transportation fees till the time a final decision and taken in this regard. However, the directives have not gone well with the schools which have now rejected the same.
The amalgam of private schools said that the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) charges Rs 3250 per student and similarly, RTO provides vehicles while charging more than Rs 80,000 for 28 days, which if availed, PSAJK said, can be a huge burden on students.
“That is why we had kept 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 the court of law.”
The Association said that transportation service is a market-driven service that is affected by several factors.
PSAJK said that the transportation service involves various government charges like insurance, toll tax, fitness, pollution etc and above all the transportation fee is directly proportional to the 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 fees will lead to bankruptcy of school transport sector,” it said.
The Association said that it heavily advocates transparency in transportation charges, which is in the best interest of every stakeholder and for that an app is being built.
“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.”