Maharashtra: Parent write to NCPCR over fee hike issues
Parents from across the state have written to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) over issues pertaining to fee hike in private schools in the state.
In their letter, Indiawide Parents Association has asked the commission to look at issues concerning fee hike, harassment in case parents complain regarding hikes and the state education department’s failure to act against such schools.
“Many schools in Maharashtra have been targeting students over fee disputes. We have complained to the state government on behalf of parents, but have not got any response. Despite sending a list of schools to the state government, the education department has not audited any schools and we thus hope that the commission directs the government to do so,” said Anubha Sahai, president of the Indiawide Parents Association.
Sahai said that the state government should also work on appointing a chairperson for the Maharashtra State Child Rights Commission, a post which is currently vacant.
Parents have also attached a list of schools where issues concerning fees are yet to be resolved. “Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown, parents faced a lot of financial issues with job losses and pay cuts. Despite that, many private schools have hiked fees and have taken action against children whose parents have dues pending,” said a parent whose son was recently removed from the online school group for non-payment of dues, in Kalyan.
Officials from the state education department said that since the subject of fee concerning private schools is sub judice, they cannot comment on the matter. A government resolution (GR) released on May 8, stated that schools should stay all fee hikes for the current academic year and allow parents to pay fees in instalments. The GR was, however, stayed by the Bombay high court on June 26, in response to a petition by several organisations of private school owners. The petitioners had argued that the government cannot regulate fees of private schools, as per the current rules.