Parents and activists have raised questions on some ambiguous clauses in the proposed Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act that the school education department issued on Tuesday.
A draft of the proposed law has been put up on the government website and will be open to suggestions from the public until February 22.
“The Act is nothing but an eye wash, it is vague and incomplete,” said Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education. “There is no mention about capitation fee in the bill and the government has not put a cap on the fees that unaided schools can charge.”
The draft states that private schools will have to get any proposed fee hike approved by their respective Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) ten months ahead of implementing it.
The PTA and the management will then have to inform a divisional fee regulatory committee of the consensus on the fee structure.
If there is a dispute between the PTA and the management on more than 15% of the fees, then the divisional committee will adjudicate between the two parties. Activists have also pointed out other ambiguities. “It says that PTA members and management can air their grievances to a divisional committee but what about other parents?” said MS Deshmukh, president of the Students’ Welfare Association.
School managements are not pleased either. “The PTA should play an advisory role and be concerned with learning issues rather than getting involved in deciding on the fees,” said the director of an unaided school.