Parents threaten to protest if school fee grievances not redressed by Maharashtra education department
Parents from schools across Maharashtra have said that they would protest outside the office of the education director in Pune if the department does not take note of their grievances on the issue of fees of private schools.
On Monday, the India Wide Parents Association had said that the state education department had not responded to several complaints made by parents over schools charging indiscriminate fees during the pandemic.
“Schools have been hiking fees and overcharging parents even during times like these when parents are struggling to pay them owing to salary cuts and job losses. Despite several complaints, the education department has not acted against schools and the issues raised by parents remain unaddressed. We are thus asking the authorities to look into our concerns or else will begin an indefinite protest,” said Anubha Sahai, president of the India Wide Parents Association.
Officials from the department have said that they are working on addressing the grievances raised by parents.
In a circular issued by the office of the deputy director on September 16, the department had formed two committees of officials to look into the complaints of parents from different schools. Thereafter, officials from the two committees had also visited schools for audits. However, parents have said that there was no substantial outcome from the steps.
“In many schools where parents have complained, the audit is yet to take place. Meanwhile, the lack of action from the department has led to several schools terminating the admissions of students who have not been able to pay fees. The department needs to act against the complaints or else parents will definitely protest,” said Salil Dhani, a parent from Kandivli.
A government resolution (GR) released on May 8 had 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.