Can't take away parents' right to protest

Nov 29, 2018, 05:36 IST | mid-day correspondent

It is time we end the rather fractious relationship between parents and school managements. An equitable playing field and mutual respect means a win-win situation for both

Can't take away parents' right to protest

Parents will no longer have the right to challenge fee hikes in school, until 25 per cent of them from the same institution come together for it, a report in this paper stated. In a big blow to parents' fight against exorbitant fee hikes in schools, the state government on Monday passed the new amendment to the Maharashtra Educational Institution Fee Regulation Act (2011), which includes the above point.

Some other points, parents feel tilts the scale in favour of school managements rather than parents. Schools can now charge parents for late fees with additional interest and in unforeseen circumstances, schools will have the right to hike fees, provided the management has the support of 76 per cent of parents. We need to see an end to these battles between parents and school managements when it comes to fee hikes.

They both have to be on the same side and overall, the aim has to be excellence in imparting education, nothing else. Parents should be able to question, if not challenge, managements when it comes to the basis of a school fee hike. While one may or may not agree with the answer, answers must be given. A blanket rule like 25 per cent parents must come together, means blunting the means of the parents to simply question a fee hike, let alone oppose it. Today, parents are left at the mercy of school managements, given the demand and supply equation – too many students and too few schools.

Admissions come at a premium and changing an institution is incredibly tough. Parents must be reasonable with their demands too, protesting if and when an issue warrants it. It is time we end the rather fractious relationship between parents and school managements. An equitable playing field and mutual respect means a win-win situation for both.

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