Education Director Sreedhar Salunke sent a letter to the primary education officer and deputy director of Pune divisional education department on Monday asking them look into the issues related to fee hike and non-existence of parent-teacher associations in unaided schools.
The matter was taken up by Mahaparents, a federation of parents’ groups, who submitted an application before Salunke regarding various issues faced by them. “The unaided schools have been hiking fees since many years now. As per the Supreme Court and state directives, for an increase in fees above 15% of the existing fees, PTA’s approval is required. But none of the schools take this approval. They make fake PTAs and show the approval on paper. Many unaided schools in the city do not have any PTA,” said Dilip Singh, president, Mahaparents.
Another issue raised by the federation was the “wrongful demand” of advance payment of next academic year’s fee. “Already the parents are struggling with the payment of exorbitant fees. Now many schools are demanding the next year’s fees too, which is totally illegal. Besides, they charge Rs 50 to Rs 100 fine per day in case this fee is not paid in the stipulated time. Hence, we have appealed to the education department to take action against such schools and de-recognise them if need be,” said Dattatrey Pawar, secretary, Mahaparents.
In his letter to the primary education officer and the deputy director, Salunke has asked them to look into when and how the PTAs were formed in various private unaided schools. “If the schools have not formed a PTA, notices must be sent to such schools to make a PTA and the report must be submitted to me by December 24,” he said, adding: “Also, a report regarding unauthorised fee hike, advance fee payment, fine in case of late payment in all unaided schools must be submitted by December 24.”