Parents and schools lock horns over cap on fee

Parents demand the state government set a ceiling on maximum fee schools can charge; schools threaten to approach HC

While the state government is yet to implement the Maharashtra Educational Institute’s (Regulation of collection of Fee) Bill, parents demand that it set a ceiling on maximum fee that schools can charge to have a uniformity in fee structure.

The Forum for Fairness in Education (FFE) recently wrote to CM Devendra Fadnavis regarding this issue. The letter stated how various schools across Maharashtra charge fees according to the board they are affiliated to. It usually ranges from R10,000 in state board schools to R16 lakh in International Baccalaureate (IB) schools. “If the government of Tamil Nadu can have a cap on school fee, why can’t Maharashtra implement the same?” asked Jayant Jain, president of FFE.

On Saturday, the FFE launched a web application on ffeindia.org where parents can fill details about collection of exorbitant fee, capitation fee, and other problems. “We will submit the data to the government and demand zero fee hikes in schools till the government frames a policy governing schools charging high fees,” said Jain.

What do the schools say?
However, this demand hasn’t gone down too well with educational institutes. “The quality of education and co-curricular activities in all schools is not the same, so why should the fees be uniform? asked the principal of a school on condition of anonymity.

The Unaided Schools Forum, too, disagrees with the uniform fee structure. “Our lawyers are going through the fee regulation bill to see if there’s a clause that causes hindrance in the way private schools function. If the bill is implemented or if the state government introduces a cap on the amount of fee that can be charged by schools, we will approach the Bombay High Court,” said SC Kedia, honorary secretary of the Unaided Schools Forum in Mumbai.

 

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