Educational non-government organisations and activists came together on Wednesday to demand that the state formulate a law to regulate fees charged by unaided schools.
The Forum Against Commercialisation of Education (FACE), Save Education Committee and Parent-Teacher Association United Forum protested at Azad Maidan, for the law and other issues.
In September, the Bombay High Court had ruled that the government could only regulate the fee structure of unaided schools if it enacted a law, and not by issuing government resolutions. “We want a law to regulate fees so that there is no profiteering by schools,” said Vivek Korde, president of FACE. “We also want the government to regulate pre-school admissions because that is where there is maximum corruption.”
Apart from these two demands, FACE is also agitating for the government to bring in fee waivers for students who fall in the category of economically backward classes, at the school level. At present the waivers only apply to those in professional colleges.
On Wednesday, protestors carried posters with slogans such as ‘Fee structure should be affordable’ and ‘Education is not a commodity, stop its sale’. “At the moment less than 2 % of the national budget is spent on education,” said Anil Kumar Tyagi, organiser of Save Education Committee’s (Mumbai). “We want 10 % to be allocated for education.”