PARENTS IN cities across Maharashtra, including Mumbai and Nagpur, are protesting the fee hike in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Parents are also protesting against CBSE and state schools making it compulsory to buy books and uniform from vendors selected by them.
A Nagpur-based private school parent association on Wednesday met Zilla Parishad education officers, Dr S N Patwe and Chintaman Wanjari, against an annual hike in fee in some CBSE schools. This is despite the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2011, allowing schools to raise the fee only once in two years, with approval from parent-teacher association. They were assured of a written response within the next two days.
“There is no transparency in the affairs of the management. Education should not be turned into a business. Three years ago, the fees for Class IV was Rs 23,000, which has now been increased to Rs 46,000,” said Yogesh Pathare, a member of the parent association.
The association has also demanded 50 per cent concession for siblings of students enrolled in the school, and making NCERT books compulsory. This year, many parents have boycotted collaboration between school managements and private publishers.
Parents allege that private schools have raised the fee without consulting the PTA and have made it compulsory to buy books and uniform from the school, an issue that also persists in schools affiliated with the state board.
“The state board affiliated school in which my child studies has collaborated with a private vendor and has been selling books to parents at a price higher than market prices. Moreover, GST has been levied over and above the MRP. Even for uniform, we have been asked to approach one particular vendor,” a parent said.
On June 26, members of the India Wide Parents Association and Yuva Sena met school education minister Ashish Shelar in opposition to the proposed amendments to the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2011.
“The existing clause, which is pro-parent and pro-PTA, has been proposed to be deleted and replaced by a new clause that will allow school management to approach the District Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) against the decision by the PTA committee. The new clause with the definition of “Group of Aggrieved Parents” is proposed to be added, which defines that parents are eligible to raise a complaint only if they account for 25 per cent or more of the total school capacity,” said Anubha Sahai, president of India Wide Parents Association.