The new government regulation (GR) on regulating fee hikes in private, unaided schools will apply from August 15, the state education minister said in the council on Saturday. The GR was issued on July 15.
“As per the court order, we have to wait for a month to communicate the GR across schools for one month till August 15,” said State Education Minister Balasaheb Thorat. “This will be applicable to all schools of all boards which take a no-objection certificate (NOC) from us to function in the state.”
The state has to give schools one month to grasp what the new regulation says and work out how to implement it. Meanwhile, the government will also get feedback and prepare itself to answer queries arising out of the new regulation, Thorat added.
“The GR will be applicable with retrospective effect from 2009-10. So any decision taken will be needed to be repaired this year, and in some cases money will need to be reimbursed,” he said.
The July 15 GR states that schools will be able to hike their fees provided they get the permission of their respective Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the deputy director of education before doing so.
However, it does not mention a cap on the “reasonable surplus” over expenses that schools can earn.
The “reasonable surplus” clause has remained a contentious point, with parents saying unaided schools should not make any surplus because they are registered with the charity commissioner, and schools saying they should be entitled to determine their own fee structure because they are not government-aided.
Parents are planning to move court over the undefined reasonable surplus, a clause they feel schools will misuse to hike their fees.
The Unaided Schools Forum is also considering moving court over clauses that require schools to make their accounts available on the website and permissions they have to seek before they can hike their fees.
The GR requires schools to set up a website disclosing information about the school and its management.