The constant battle between parents and schools on the fee hike took an unexpected twist, with a recent judgement by the Mumbai High Court, passed in favour of the applicant school.
The recent order passed by High Court was with respect to a a Civil Application by Zeal Education Society’s Dnyanganga English Medium School in connection with parents who had refused to pay the increased fees. Parents who fought against the schools believed that their children couldn’t be expelled from the school, as the Right to Education (RTE) Act prohibited any such action.
However, The Hight court order, ruled that in the case of students who didn’t pay the fees, the school management “always” has the right to cancel the admission.
The High Court also added that asking parents to pay the school fees, was beyond its jurisdiction.
Pune 365 spoke to several parents and teachers on this recent judgement and the possible implications on the ground.
“Private schools are not for charity, but for business and they barely care about the education, says Sachin Rawat, a parent.
“The schools nowadays have been increasing their fees exponentially, without following the guidelines prescribed by the state as early as 2015.
We parents have always been living in fear of our kids getting expelled from school because of the fees hike. We always had the hope that the law will provide justice. But turned out to be vice versa.” Rawat adds.
Rakesh Shetty, a parent says, The problem is that, despite paying the huge amount of fees, we have to enrol them in classes elsewhere too. Most schools fail to give them the quality education and we have to rely on tuitions and special classes.
We are certainly prepared to invest in our kid’s education and enrol them in private schools, but there is a limit to everything.
The decision has surprised everyone, according to Right to education no school is allowed to expel the child under any circumstances. We will move the supreme court, if we find any schools taking such action against the children.
Shetty further added “In schools, we are also forced to enrol them for an activity class, and this is always priced higher than what we pay outside. The textbooks and notebooks have to be bought mandatorily from the school itself, despite note books costing much less outside.
Sunita, a school teacher says, The school is responsible for education, but along with that the school also has bear other expenses. like the electricity bills, salaries for teachers and other staff members, says Sunita, a teacher.
I am a parent too, and yes, I cannot say that the decision is completely fair on parents, as the schools most often do not follow the guidelines before increasing the fees.
Another school teacher says, If quality education is important why do parents crib so much about fees, the increasing pattern is high no doubt, but parents have chosen that particular school for their child and nobody forced them to do so.
Parents are well aware of the school fee structure, their guidelines, everything is told to them during the admission and also mentioned clearly in the school almanac.
“Despite of sending several reminders to concern parents, they fail to pay the fees, due to which the school has to bear losses. Therefore, I feel it is appropriate to expel the kid from the school. Although schools won’t usually take such actions, its good to have the law clearly opine on this,” she adds.
Anjali Satardekar, a parent says, “A child’s academic year should not be affected, even if the fees are not paid.
If at all a child’s admission has to be cancelled, it should be done only in the next academic year. And if pending and new fees are paid before school starts, then the child should not be restrained from joining back.
“The child’s parents should be contacted and ideally, the child should not know, as it can build pressure and affect their studies adds Anjali.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents (some names changed on request) and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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