Fresh order by Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee denies parents right to challenge schools independently
A parent's fight against IES Modern English School in Dadar, opposing its exorbitant fees, has reached a dead-end following a recent order by the Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC). According to the order, an individual parent can no longer complain against the fee hike; it has to be done through the Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA).
Incidentally, in May, following state-wide agitations by parents, education minister Vinod Tawde had assured parents that the Fee Regulation Act would be amended to give the right to individual parents to complain against the fee hike. The government had formed a committee to suggest recommendations in May.
"All of this is just an eye-wash," said Prasad Tulaskar, a parent who has been fighting his case since June 2016, despite his child passing from the school. "On January 2017, DFRC gave a ruling, which was in our favour, but in February, the school management moved Bombay high court. In its verdict on July 2017, the HC stated that an individual parent cannot approach DFRC with a complaint," he added.
Last week, the DFRC issued a new order based on the high court ruling.
Ajay Pandita, from Parents of Private School of Maharashtra (POPSOM), a united parents body, said, "If the PTAs can approve unjustified fee hikes because they want to be in the good books of the management, how will there ever be a case by the PTA at the DFRC? This is exactly why parents have been pressing for the need of amendment in the Act."
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