MUMBAI, (GNI): Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam led a delegation of aggrieved parents of students affected by the irrational fee hike by private schools and met the Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
The delegation’s aim was to apprise the Governor of the unreasonable fee hike that private schools have imposed on the students. Calling it ‘goondagardi’ by private schools, the parents led by Sanjay Nirupam wanted the Governor to address their concerns on an urgent basis.
Sanjay Nirupam said after meeting the Governor, “The Government has failed to act for these parents. It’s heart-wrenching to see that our administration is failing our people and acting in such a reckless manner. I just want a raise a voice for the parents. Every parent will understand what they are going through. This fee hike must be reversed with immediate effect.”
As per the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2011, private school managements must seek PTA executive panel’s approval for any fee hike six months before the start of the new academic year.
“We are tired of not getting an answer from the Government or the education minister. This arbitrary fee hike is illegal and criminal and we want it to be reversed,” said one agitated parent.
“We had a meeting with hon. Governor in regards with the fee hike. This issue is not concerned with just one school. It is the situation of schools throughout Maharashtra. We have been chasing this issue for the past 4 months. But there hasn’t been any concrete solution so far. But today we represented our case to hon. Governor and he has assured that he will decide on this issue in the next 2 days”, says GurunathPatkar, one of the parents.
“I’m very happy that hon. Governor spared some time for us and the parents of Mumbai. He has promised to take up the issue with the Government and very soon he will try to resolve the issue”, says Sanjay Nirupam.
The School Fee Act allows schools to increase fees by 15 per cent every alternate year, but only with the consent of their parent-teacher associations (PTAs). The final sanction comes from the education department. In case the rule is flouted, a PTA can approach the Divisional Fee Regulation Committee (DFRC) that was set up by the state last year. Any fee not approved by the state is termed as capitation fee and is thus illegal. Violation of the Act can lead up to imprisonment of three years.
Sanjay Nirupam has alleged that the PTAs have been working in cahoots with the private school managements and that the PTAs are not a fair representation of all parents and are often compromised. The leader promised to fight for the parents till this illegal fee hike is not reversed. Ends