No school fee hike without our consent: Archdiocesan board | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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No school fee hike without our consent: Archdiocesan board

Schools in the city that come under the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) will not be able to raise their fees without consent from the ABE's executive committee. The ABE decided this at a meeting in January, and the Cardinal approved the decision a week ago.

mumbai Updated: Mar 03, 2012 02:12 IST
Bhavya Dore

Schools in the city that come under the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) will not be able to raise their fees without consent from the ABE's executive committee. The ABE decided this at a meeting in January, and the Cardinal approved the decision a week ago.

The ABE oversees around 150 schools of which around 130 have aided secondary sections and unaided primary sections. The remainder is unaided for both primary and secondary sections.

"The decision to raise fees is not the decision of a single principal," said Father Gregory Lobo, head of the ABE.

After receiving proposals, the 15-member executive body may form a committee to scrutinise them, said Fr Lobo.

The ABE has received two proposals from schools so far about raising fees. More are likely to come in once the start of the new academic year approaches in June.

The Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee Act) bill was cleared in the assembly in August last year. The state government has since forwarded it to the Centre, and is awaiting clearance (see timeline).

"Guidance from the ABE is important so that principals do not take decisions based on whims and fancies," said Father Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family School in Andheri.

The most recent case of an ABE school getting embroiled in a fee hike controversy was when parents of students at St Elias School in Khar protested against the authorities for nearly doubling the monthly fee halfway through the year.

Parents are happy with the ABE's decision to screen fee hike proposals. "It is a good decision, we must appreciate that they are following the law," Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education.

However, not all parents are convinced.

"It is better for parents if fee hikes get government approval," said one parent. "That way there is more transparency."