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School fee hike: Court asks govt to decide

mumbai Updated: Dec 11, 2009 01:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Be prepared for a hike in your child’s school fee next academic year if the state government agrees to the decision of the experts’ committee.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the government to take decision on the recommendation of the Bansal Committee’s report suggesting fee hike in private schools. However, the decision should be taken well in advance, said the high court.

“It would be appropriate that the government and the competent authority take decisions related to fee structure well in advance, so that prior to commencement of academic session, all schools, students, parents and the parents-teachers association (PTA) know what fees they have to pay and if the students can take admissions in a given school,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar.

The government resolution stated if the private schools increases the fees without permission of the Fee Control Committee (which is yet to be formed), then the permission granted to these schools, as well as the No Objection Certificates (NOC, for constructing schools on government land) will be revoked.

The authorities have been directed to place the report of the Bansal Committee before the state government within two weeks. The government has been directed to take a final decision upon the report within a period of four weeks thereafter.

All eyes on decision on fee committee report

The issue of private un-aided schools hiking their fees now hinges on the government’s decision to accept or reject the recommendations made by the Bansal Committee report.

The 21-member Bansal Committee, headed by former education secretary Kumud Bansal, was appointed by the government in June to suggest draft guidelines for regulating fee hikes in private schools.

The report, submitted in October, recommended that unaided schools be allowed to raise their fees to earn a “reasonable surplus” of 15 per cent over their total expenses (staff salaries, library resources, training workshops, etc). The committee held that if parents had any objections to the fee hike in a particular school they could approach a statutory committee, which is yet to be appointed. The committee’s recommendations have been published on the government website where members can post their suggestions and objections until December 25. “The Bansal Committee recommendations are not acceptable to us,” said Dr Milind Wagh, state secretary, Forum Against Commercialisation of Education. Several parents’ organisations will hold a protest at Azad Maidan on Friday.