Stepping up their attack against schools flouting norms pertaining to fee hike, parents wrote to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday and demanded it roll back claiming that it violates the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Collection of Fee Act, 2011. They also demanded refund of the amount already paid.
Parents staged a day-long protest at Azad Maidan on Sunday against the exorbitant fee hike by schools for the upcoming academic session. This is the second protest by parents in the past two months.
Though it saw a low turnout in comparison to the previous protest, 3,800 parents who participated supported the cause by giving missed calls to the number publicised by the Forum for Fairness in Education, a parent-teacher group. Organisers said the mega block on the Central line restricted the number of participants.
“Several parents couldn’t make it to the protest, but showed their support online. This time, the politicians and local MLAs attended the protest and promised to help us in curbing fee hike,” said Jayant Jain, president of the forum.
Parents have called for stringent government action against schools that hike fees without their consent or violating the against the school fee act.
The letter to the CM reads: “This is to bring to your notice that schools continue to charge exorbitant fees, under different heads, violating all rules and regulations, and even the orders of the education minister…there is huge unrest among parents as there is no one to listen to their grievances.”
One of their primary demands is that the government decides implement a few recommendations made by the Shikshan Shulka Samiti across private schools, which according to parents will restrict schools from charging fees under different heads such as activity and security deposit. parents have also demanded upper limit set for all prescribed fees such as computer, library and caution money,among others so that the amount remains reasonable.
The letter states that despite repeated orders from the education department, schools continue to force parents to purchase uniforms, books and stationery items from them, and are selling them at a higher price than the market price.