HSPA welcomes Central panel proposal for setting up 'fee regulation authority'

HSPA welcomes Central panel proposal for setting up fee regulation authority
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Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA), which is in the forefront of the fight for over a decade for setting up the School Fee Regulation Authority (SFRA) in the State

Hyderabad: Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA), which is in the forefront of the fight for over a decade for setting up the School Fee Regulation Authority (SFRA) in the State, has welcomed the recommendation by the Committee constituted to draft national education policy. The Committed recommended that the States must set up State Regulatory Authority (SSRA).

The Committee was headed by former ISRO Chairman Kasturirangan and it gave a report to the Union Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Friday.

In its recommendations, the Committee said: "States will separate the regulatory function from that of other functions in education, such as policymaking, school operations and education provision, academic development and assessment, and ancillary services." This is to separate policymaking, regulation, operations and academic matters.

Following this, the State will have to form the State School Regulatory Authority (SSRA). The SSRA is an independent board and sole authority of school regulation. The board will have 10 to 15 members, appointed by either Rajya Sikha Ayog (RjSA) or the Chief Minister of the State.

The Authority will have the regulatory mandate and it would set basic and uniform standards for both public and private schools.

Further, the enforcement of the regulation will not be driven by the current inspectorial approach. Instead, all relevant information like school infrastructure, teacher resources, including their qualifications, school results in public examinations, fees, etc. will be put in the public domain for the parents to make informed choices and thereby become the de facto regulator.

The independent SSRA will handle all aspects of school regulation including the oversight of the school system and implementation of Accreditation. SSRA will be a body similar to the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA).

The Authority will also set up a robust and easily accessible public grievance and redressal mechanism which shall be widely communicated and disseminated.

"This may include multiple ombudspersons across the State and the SSRA may also have a quasi-judicial status, and will set up an adjudication body within, for the speedy judicial resolution of matters that require the same."

Adding, in case any of the States establishes an empowered Education Tribunal, then, the judicial functions might be performed by the tribunal.

But, the SSRA shall be fully empowered to enforce the regulatory regime, including by withdrawing approval to operate schools, i.e. shutting down schools, if the basic minimal parameters for accreditation are not satisfied, the report said.

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