Mamata to meet private school managements today. Will she go the Kejriwal way?
Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi government had last year decreed that private schools built on Delhi Development Authority land will need its nod before hiking fees.
Will Mamata Banerjee go the Arvind Kejriwal way? The West Bengal chief minister is set to meet private school managements over allegations that they were charging steep donations and hiking fees.
Kejriwal’s Delhi government had last year decreed that private schools built on Delhi Development Authority land will need its nod before hiking fees. Only five out of 410 applicants were allowed to hike fees this year which is done after auditing the school’s finances.
Mamata will meet school and college authorities at the Town Hall at 1:30 pm.
On February 22, in a similar meeting with representatives of dozens of top private hospitals and nursing homes in the state, the chief minister uncorked her acerbic best, hauling them up for overcharging patients and shoddy service that constitutes one of the most popular grievances in society.
It is widely believed that after tightening the screws on private hospitals and healthcare units, she has set her sights on the private schools that many allege of capitalising on high demand to make fast money.
“Some take so much donation that there has to be some control over it,” remarked the chief minister a few weeks ago, referring to some of the elite private schools in Bengal.
In the run up to the meeting, education minister Partha Chatterjee said school authorities would be informed about “the vast discrepancies in their fees”.
However, Ranjan Mitra, principal of Future Foundation School, called for “a middle path”, saying “prices of goods and services are rising, and we have to pay teachers and buy services”. He also said that there should be a rein on fees.
In 2015-16, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal fought a high-profile battle against capitation fees/donations in private schools in Delhi.