Private company promises parents fees discount, alert parents raise red flag
Several parents from private schools across the city are planning to write to the state education department complaining against a private company for offering them “discounts” on school fees.Updated: Sep 25, 2020, 20:19 IST
Several parents from private schools across the city are planning to write to the state education department complaining against a private company for offering them “discounts” on school fees.
Parents said they were approached by Pride Group, a private company that claimed to have a tie-up with the state government and promised to pay 50% of the fees on the behalf of parents.
“The company said they would give us discounts depending on the fee that our school charged. In return, we were asked to pay Rs. 2500 to the personal account of one of their heads,” said the parent of a Vile Parle based school. Parents were also asked to submit several documents like the Aadhar card, copies of their child’s school calendar, photographs, etc.
Anil Sabale, deputy director of education for the Mumbai region said the education department would give out a disclaimer on all its websites stating that it had nothing to do with this company. “We will do so after we see the complaints filed by parents. Meanwhile we urge parents not to fall for such traps,” he added.
When HT contacted, Soni Shelar, a representative who had approached a few parents asked the reporter to speak to her office staff. An employee named Nazim, who identified herself as the manager of the company said, “We do not have any recognition from the central or state government. We are not an NGO or trust even and are only a private firm.”
While asked about their funding model, she said, “We have a mediator who does this work for us and parents are thus charged a processing fee.” She denied commenting after asked about the norms under which the company made such arrangements. As per the company’s website, it claims to be an “education centre in Mumbai” with its office based out of Bhendi Bazaar.
As per the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2011, private unaided schools in the state can fix their own fees. While the government has set a cap on the extent of fee hike, there is no such provision for private companies to tie up with the government and schools to waive off students’ fees. Even the scholarships offered by the central and state government are for students from socially and economically backward classes.