As part of a nation-wide protest, over 20,000 parents from across Maharashtra and other states have written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for stricter laws to put an end to unjustified fee hikes by schools.
Through social media and signature campaigns, the Forum for Fairness in Education, a parents and teachers body, launched the protest recently. To register their protest, parents have written to the PM demanding a legislation to govern fees of schools charging more than 20,000 per year.
“We are protesting against fee-hikes by private schools across India,” said Jayant Jain, president of the Forum. “We will conduct more signature campaigns in the coming days.”
Even though the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2011 has been enforced from this academic year, schools are not abiding by it, complained parents.
Recently, parents of a Ghatkopar school complained about their school hiking fees by nearly 13% this year. “The fees were hiked thrice in three years, from Rs 2,700 to 4, 375 this year,” said one of the parents.
The school principal was unavailable for comment, but the spokesperson said, “We have not hiked fees for three years. This year we have hiked and explained the reasons to the parents as well.”
Parents from other states such as Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and others have joined the protest. "Parents in Haryana are also facing the problem of indiscriminate fee hikes. Schools are running like businesses,” said Dr Manoj Sharma, district secretary of Haryana Parents Associations. “We want the central government to come up with some stringent legislation governing fee hikes.”