Private schools cannot cite 2015 HC order to hike fees

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 9 May 2019

Now, the schools have to revise the fees as per the State’s Fee Regulation Act

PUNE: While the parents and students in the state have been suffering due to the issue of unreasonable fee hike by private unaided schools, the schools have been seen hiking the fees by giving reference of a 2015 High Court order that had apparently permitted to raise the fees by 15 per cent.

However, the State Government has released a notification stating that the order was applicable only for 2016-17 and it is not applicable for any of the years after that. These schools will now have to revise the fees as per Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fee) Act (FRA), and any hike done by schools by referring to these orders will be null and illegal.

“The said order was passed without taking the FRA into consideration. In FRA, there is no such clause that would allow schools to raise fees by 15 per cent every year,” Adv. Anubha Sahai of India Wide Parents Association said.

However, the order was being cited as a means to raise fees unnecessarily on their own by some schools.

“No school is allowed to hike the fees on their own. The management needs to put forth a proposal, which then needs to be approved by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Only if they approve, the fees can be revised,” Sahai added.

She also stated that once determined by the PTA, the said fee will be binding for the schools for the next two years. It cannot be revised every year.

The schools that had filed the above mentioned petition were the Association of International School in India and others, Unaided Schools Forum and others, VIBGYOR High School, Nobel Foundation and GG International School and others.

In the letter addressed to the Deputy directors of Education in the state, Education Director Sunil Chauhan has instructed the inspection of the fee structures of the private unaided schools and find out if any of the schools are not following the FRA.

NOTIFICATION
The notification by the Maharashtra government has now clearly stated that the order was limited to the fee structures of 2016-17 only.

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