Schools can now hike their fees, because the government has taken back its order restricting schools from increasing fees without parental and government approval.
Though this is a temporary measure, until the government takes a final call on the Bansal Committee report on fee hike on July 15, parents are still anxious about the delay.
“Schools will now go ahead and increase their fees and this will be a big problem for parents,” said Shivaji Shetty, member of the Navi Mumbai Schools Parents’ Association. “Will there be a scrutiny into the fee hikes if they take place?”
The government resolution of March 4 stated that private schools could not hike their fees above the 2008-09 levels without the sanction of their respective Parent-Teacher Associations and the deputy director of education.
The high court told the government to take a decision on the Bansal Committee Report concerning recommendations for fee hikes in private, unaided schools by July 15.
Any decision that the government takes will also apply retrospectively to schools that might hike their fees in the interim.
“If schools do increase their fees, will they give us an undertaking that they will refund the fees based on what the government decides later?” questioned Arundhati Chavan, president of the PTA United Forum. “Once again parents might have to fight to get their money back from school managements.”
Schools, however, have welcomed the latest development, terming it as a relief.
“If the schools can justify the fee hikes, do it in a transparent manner and take their parents into confidence, then it's fair to hike the fees,” said Pinky Dalal, chairperson of SJBCN International School at Borivli.
“This is positive development and a big relief for us,” said C.R. Pathak, principal of HVB Academy at Marine Lines.
“If schools are unable to increase their fees, then how will they be able to pay their teachers salaries in line with the Sixth Pay Commission scales?”