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The long battle between private educational institutes and parents associations may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel now that the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act has been passed by the State Assembly on August 3, 2011. The law is expected to usher in major reforms in streamlining school fees across all boards, irrespective of whether the educational institutions are aided or not.
Several parents associations have been fighting over the last year for the implementation of this Act. The Education Department had released a draft of fee regulations in February 2011, on which they had invited objections from parents, school managements and other stakeholders. Parents had submitted their objections alongwith which they had protested against the loopholes in the draft. To name a few, the Rosary School Parents Association (RSPA), Sinhagad Springdale Parents Association (SSPA), Crescent School Parents Association, Shikshan Hakka Manch were some of the protestors who fought for the implementation of the Act. Ajay Sathe, secretary of the RSPA, told, we are happy that the government has taken this positive step. Through this, we are sure the exploitation of parents will come to an end. Anil Mahajan of the SSPA told Mirror, We had received positive vibes from the school education minister Rajendra Darda during our meetings with him in Mumbai. While parents associations are clearly happy about the decision, a few education experts have pointed out that some points are still not clear. Matin Mujawar of the Shikshan Hakka Manch said, we are happy that parents can now also be a part of the process while the fee structure is framed but we are yet to study the drafted bill. The concept of capitation fee which is taken as building funds is still unclear.Moreover, Dr. Anjali Patil, who broke the Presidents convoy in April 2011 to submit a memorandum against fee hikes said, The original bill stated that the school can increase fees after every three years but now the present bill that has been passed states that schools can increase fees after two years. They should have not decreased a year this will be beneficial to the institutions. The percentage of increase of fees should also be made clear in the bill. Parents have shown contentment towards the bill and education officials feel that the relationship between the institutions and the parents which had been turning increasingly sour might just improve now. Sunil Magar, the deputy director of education said, we welcome the bill. On the basis of this bill no injustice will be done to anyone.
Courtesy: Pune Mirror
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