Now, petition seeks stay on fee regulation act

Not comfortable letting Parent-Teacher Associations interfere in financial matters like fee hike, complain schools

The Maharashtra Educa-tional Institutes (Regulation of Fee) Act has hit another roadblock. A group of schools has filed a petition in Bombay High Court and another will soon, seeking a stay on the implementation of the policy. They disagree with the provision of the policy that asks schools to inform and include Parent-Teacher Associations in their financial processes like fee hike.

The Unaided Schools’ Forum is currently waiting for a hearing at the high court. “Unaided schools have full autonomy in taking decisions and for the government to give power to parents to interfere in this process is unfair,” said S C Kedia, honorary secretary of the forum. He added that several other school groups and associations plan to join this protest.

Why the hold up?
The first draft of the policy was introduced in 2014 only to receive flak from parents, schools and activists. Again, in November another draft was introduced and left open for suggestions/objections from public but sadly, it received very few responses.

“Since the education department is not considering private schools’ objections, we have no other option but to drag them to court. There’s no harm in regularisation, but the government’s plan is to have no boundaries whatsoever,” said principal of an ICSE school in Khar.

No mention of deposit fund has made school principals unhappy. “We don’t mind sharing details with parents but why should we allow a third party to take a call on internal matters of the school like fee hike?” said Rohan Bhatt, chairperson of Children’s Academy Group of Schools.

“It’s disappointing to see not a very different draft being introduced again,” added Bhatt.

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