More than 1,000 students’ parents have signed an online petition demanding that the Maharashtra government audit private schools in the state for operations and finances. Parents and school managements have been locked in fee-related disputes ever since lockdown in March. The petition, started by a parent from Thane, Anubha Sahai, it demands that the government audit all schools which charge a fee of over Rs 30,000 annually.
Sahai said, “Most schools are profiteering and charging exorbitant fees from parents every year. They are hiking fees every year without giving any proper justification. During this pandemic too they are charging fees by claiming that they have to pay salaries to teachers even when they have huge surplus.”
The petition signed by 1,160 people and the parents claim that the schools are overcharging even when operations are shut. “Some schools are also charging transport fees and various other fees under different heads for different activities when these activities are not even being conducted. We are ready to pay fees for meeting expenses incurred on payment of salaries to teachers but we also want them to share the balance sheet,” she added.
Despite assurances from the government to help parents, several parents have complained to the state education department that schools are threatening them to discontinue e-learning classes if they fail to pay the fees. While educational institutions have have cited reasons such as payment of salaries to their teachers and increased expenditure for sanitisation for hiking of fees.
Source: Times of IndiaNews, States