As part of a nation-wide protest, more than 20,000 parents from across Maharashtra and other states have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for stricter laws to check unjustified fee hikes by schools.
Through social media and signature campaigns, the Forum for Fairness in Education, a city-based parents and teachers body, launched the protest last week.
As part of the campaign, parents have written to the prime minister, demanding a legislation to govern fees of schools charging more than Rs 20,000 annually.
“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, alleged parents.
Recently, parents of a Ghatkopar school complained about their school increasing fees by nearly 13% this year. “The fees were hiked thrice in three years, from Rs 2,700 in 2012 to Rs 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. We increased it this year and explained the reasons for it to the parents.”
Parents from other states such as Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and others joined the protest. “Parents in Haryana also face the problem of unchecked fee hikes. Schools are running like business enterprises,” 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,” he said.