The Maharashtra state government has decided to slash private school fees by 15 percent for the academic year, 2021-22. The state’s cabinet approved the decision (Wednesday, July 28) to issue an ordinance reducing fees across all educational boards.
The decision comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s directive (July 22) asking Maharashtra state government to consider its earlier judgement on Rajasthan schools’ reduction of school fees. The SC’s May 3 directive asked private schools managements in Rajasthan to charge only 85 percent fees, giving parents a 15 percent discount.
The decision will be applicable to all educational boards within the state and schools have assured the government to abide by all fee reduction rules. “The government order will cover various issues to avoid any confusion among the parents and school management,” said the state’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad.
The demand for a reduction in school fees is a long standing demand of parents in the state. In a recent letter addressed to the state’s chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray and the education minister, parents asked for a 15 percent waiver for all academic years from 2019-20 in view of the COVID pandemic situation.
“This is a populist measure to please parents who make up government’s vote bank. The government is already aware of the ground reality that most budget schools have offered students more than 15 percent discount considering parents’ financial constraints due to the pandemic. Parents of other elite private schools don’t mind paying the fees because they value quality of education being offered. Private schools are awaiting release of the ordinance and will decide on the next course of action against it once more details are released in the public domain,” says Bharat Malik, head – Maharashtra chapter, National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA).
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