A group of parents plan to move court over a the government’s fee hike policy.
The contention is over a clause that allows unaided schools to hike fees to earn a ‘reasonable surplus’ on their expenses.
“We will challenge the clause because managements will be able to misuse it,” said Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education. “Parents had suggested no more than a four per cent surplus.”
However, any hikes needs to be approved by respective Parent-Teacher Association and the deputy director of education.
The Government Resolution (GR), which came out on Thursday, outlines the fee policy for private schools.
The previous GR of May 21 stated that schools would not be able to hike fees to earn up to six per cent as a surplus.
The government had then taken suggestions on this order from representatives of parents and school managements, as per the high court’s directive.
It then issued a fresh GR on Thursday.
The report of Bansal committee, submitted last year, had suggested a surplus of up to 15 per cent. While managements have argued they should be free from government interference, parents have argued for decreasing the surplus amount.
They also pointed out that schools will not necessarily take PTA approval as the GR states.
“How many schools have functioning PTAs?” questioned Dr M Deshmukh, secretary of the Students’ Welfare Association. “And many schools have composed PTAs with parents who are on their side and who will sanction hikes.”
Another point parents have raised is that while the order lists a set of expenses that schools can charge under, it says these are “illustrative”, not “exhaustive”. “As a result schools will be able to charge expenses under other heads as well,” said Dr Milind Wagh, state secretary of the Forum Against Commercialisation of Education.
Parents have however, hailed most of the points in the new order. It states that schools can only hike their fees every three years and will have to make all their accounts available on a website.