A few days after the Maharashtra education department formed committees to address complaints concerning fee hikes in private schools, it has ordered an inspection of four such schools in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai . As per a circular issued by the office of the deputy director on September 16, two committees of department officials have been formed to look into the complaints of parents from different schools.
Officials appointed by the department will inspect the documents of St Josephs’ School in Panvel, Euro School in Thane, Universal School in Ghatkopar and Bright Start Fellowship International School in Grant Road regarding the last seven years.
Universal School said that it would respond after “taking legal opinion” while a spokesperson from the Xaviers’ Group which runs St Josephs’ School said, “The concerned education official has issued a letter to the school on September 10 and the same has been replied to.”
A senior official from the department said, “Private schools have the power to fix their own fees as per the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2011. However, the Act has set some rules regarding a cap on the percentage fee hike, duration after which it can be imposed and has also laid down the procedure for its approval by the Parent Teachers Association. However, some parents have alleged that schools are not following these norms. We have thus asked for an inspection of such schools to verify their documents.”
Last week, several parents of students from different schools in the city met Bacchu Kadu, state minister for school education.
Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education coordinated with the delegation of parents from around 35 schools.
The officla also added, “In the days to come, the department plans to inspect more schools. “We are doing it in phases as we are short-staffed due to Covid-19 restrictions.”
Source: Hindustan TimesNews, States