Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two schools decide to roll back fee hike


PUNE: Parents of two schools in the city scored a small victory on Friday against the managements as their tireless efforts of the last two months have paid off.

The Divisional Fee Regulation Authority (DFRC) has taken cognisance of the complaints regarding fee hike and has directed the schools to roll back to the original fee structure.

A hearing of about 18 schools, their representatives, parents and education officials in Pune was conducted by the DFRC earlier this week. All 18 schools and parents were given a chance to present their say on the basis of which the DFRC gave its decision. A final report on the hearing would be released in a few days as some schools have sought more time to produce the required documents. This is the first time in several years that action against fee hike has been taken after protests from parents.

Deputy director of education Dinkar Temkar, who presented all the 18 complaints to the DFRC, said, "We have to get the exact details about the decision of the DFRC as the report is awaited. However, two schools have agreed to roll back the fees while two other schools have moved the court so the panel was not in a position to give any decision. Some other schools have sought more time."

State education minister Vinod Tawde was gheraoed by parents twice in a fortnight this month, regarding the fee issue when he decided to immediately hear the schools and parents. Parents from Pune were in the forefront when it came to complaining and protesting against fee hike followed by Mumbai and Nagpur.

Temkar said the report by DFRC is expected soon and once it is submitted to the department, the schools will have to act on it immediately. The fees approved by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) would be final as per the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Collection of Fee Regulation) Act, 2011, enforced from 2015, if the difference between fees decided by the management and approved by the PTA executive committee is not more than 15%.

According to the rules of this act, private school managements must take approval from the PTA executive panel for any fee hike six months before the start of the new academic year. Parents who were protesting against the schools complained that in many schools, the PTA has approved the fee hikes without consulting the Act.


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