A regulator for hundreds of thousands of private schools in Punjab could soon be established in the state, if the Council of Ministers gives its nod.The issue will come up for discussion and approval before the Cabinet which meets here on Monday evening. Sources said that the Cabinet will be deliberating on the issue after Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi had raised the issue in the last meeting.CM Parkash Singh Badal had then asked Education Minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema to prepare a draft proposal and bring it in the next Cabinet meeting.There has been widespread resentment across the state on the issue leading to a confrontation between parents and school managements in several cities across the state.Some of the private schools have raised their fees by almost 40- 50 per cent, mostly in the name of development charges. At several places, especially in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala, parents have resorted to hunger strikes and protests outside DC offices demanding government intervention. At many places, parents have approached the courts and sought legal intervention.The Education Department has also held a series of meetings with the parents associations, managements of private schools and DEO’s.After taking inputs from all stake holders, a draft policy on having a regulator to deal with issues of fee hike and other concerns of parents of children has been prepared. It will have representation from all stake holders and will bring regulation on the fee that can be increased by private schools each year, said a senior functionary in the department.Other than this, the Cabinet is also likely to give its approval for filling vacancies in the Technical Education and Health Departments. The council of ministers are also expected to deliberate on the issue of payments to be made to commission agents, labourers and transporters for the wheat that has been bought by procurement agencies.It is learnt that dues of farmers have been cleared from the Rs 14000 crore cash credit limit that has been credited by the consortium of banks so far.The issue of giving sewing machines and LPG chullahs to 5 lakh beneficiaries by the Social Security Department is also likely to be discussed in the Cabinet meeting.
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