Bowing to pressure from parents' groups, the state government is considering amendments to its fee regulation Act. The state education department has set up a 11member committee to suggest changes to the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2011.
For the past month, parents from various schools in the city have staged protests and organised meetings with school education minister Vinod Tawde, demanding the state's intervention in fee-related disputes.They have also been demanding changes in the Act to enable them to file complaints with regulatory committees.
A government resolution issued by the department on Saturday stated that the committee led by V J Palshikar, chairman of the fee revision committee, will study complaints and suggestions and propose a format for amendments in 15 days. “Parents have several complaints about fee hikes. In relation to these complaints, the divisional fee regulatory committees (DFRC) has noticed that there are a few things lacking in the provisions of the Act which need to be improved,“ said the GR.
The committee will have to study the fee-hike related complaints, educational policies, provisions of the act and make suggestions for necessary improvements. The committee will also have to draft a format to issue an ordinance for the suggested changes.
The committee includes Krishnaprasad Warrier, retired district court judge and chairman of Mumbai's DFRC, former director of education, Mohan Awate, officials from the education department, two members each from school managements and parents, who will be appointed by invitation. Parents have welcomed the move. Jayant Jain, president, Forum for Fairness in Education, an NGO, said, “We are glad the government is at least considering a change after so many complaints. The committee must look at bringing in more clarity in the Act. The Act needs to specify how much money a school can collect as admission fees, activity fees or even security deposits.“
Anubha Sahai, a parent, said to ensure the amendments are in the best interest of all, the state must put them up on a public forum for feedback.