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RTE admissions: Parents hold one-day strike, slam schools

Nearly 250 parents from across the state took part in the rally, demanding strict action against private school management bodies.

Written by Aashay Khandekar | Pune |
Updated: December 26, 2015 12:01:36 am
RTE admission, POPSOM, parents strike, RTE admission strike, admission strike, pune news, indian express Parents take out a protest march to Balbharati. (Express Photo)

The Parents of Private Schools of Maharashtra (POPSOM) went on a day-long strike in front of Balbharti on Tuesday in protest against the allegedly inactive administration of the education department, which has been stalling action against private schools violating RTE regulations. Nearly 250 parents from across the state took part in the rally, demanding strict action against private school management bodies, which are refusing to lower high fees and instead taking action against children whose parents are not complying with the school’s payment orders.

Parents also met Mahavir Mane, director of Primary Education and addressed their concerns, saying that a mere ‘look into the matter’ isn’t sufficient and schools need to be reprimanded for their callous behaviour. Mane assured them that the inquiry committee meeting, including core POPSOM members, will be held on Wednesday morning. “We’ll discuss the issues of fee regularities and schools that fail to reciprocate will face cancellation of licenses. The notices will be sent out after the meeting,” Mane said.

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Before the meet, agitated parents indulged in sloganeering outside Balbharti. “Fees in some private schools are more than Rs one lakh per year and
they are being increased by almost nine percent every year under false reasons like hike in teacher’s salary or development fund. Teachers keep working on minimal wages and there is no development in the school facilities. The money goes to the management bodies of schools. Our children have become blank cheques,” said Uday Sonawane, a parent from Aurangabad.

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If Wednesday’s meeting fails to produce the desired results, parents have threatened to go on an indefinite strike in front of CM Devendra Fadnavis’s house. “What private schools are doing is against Constitution. Education should be free, but they’ve made it into a money-minting business. If denied justice, we’ll go to Mumbai to knock on CM’s door. We’re even prepared to take our grievances to the PMO,” said Anubha Sahai, a member of the inquiry panel from POPSOM.

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