Another inconclusive meeting to resolve the school fees issue between representatives of parents associations and the state government was held on Tuesday. Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, however, is expected to announce the decision after the state Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
“We have taken suggestions and feedback from parents today. After discussion in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, a decision will be announced,” the Education Minister told The Indian Express on Tuesday. Parents reiterated their demand of a reduction of 50 percent in school tuition fees to the Education Minister during the meeting.
“We met for the second time for this issue and demanded 50 percent deduction in tuition fees and a 100 percent deduction in 14 co-curricular activities which the state government itself had declared earlier. There should be no hike in the fees for this academic session,” said Naresh Shah, president of All Gujarat Wali Mandal. Shah is one of the petitioners who had filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court challenging the fees demanded by private schools despite no regular classes.
A few private schools agreed to a 25 percent reduction in the fees with certain conditions even as some parent associations alleged suspicion over the government’s “intent”. Jayesh Patel, president of Gujarat Wali Ekta Mandal, alleged that Tuesday’s meeting was held in a suspicious manner as representatives of several parents associations were not taken into confidence.
“We were not informed about the meeting. If the government genuinely wants to resolve the fees issue in the favour of parents, then it should have involved representatives of all parent associations – not only from Ahmedabad but other districts, too. If it actually wants to work out a solution, it should implement its GR of July 16 where it had stated that schools cannot charge fees till they are closed and further, a minimum of 50 percent reduction in the current academic session.”
Amit Panchal, president of Wali Swaraj Manch, one of the petitioners alleged that their representation was not allowed in the meeting.
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