Mumbai: In order to resolve the issue of unjust fee hikes initiated by schools, the Maharashtra state school education department has created Divisional Fee Regulatory Committees (DFRCs) in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, and Aurangabad division, announced Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister on Monday. These committees are formed as per the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fee) Act (MEIR, Act), 2011.
Gaikwad said, "Parents aggrieved by unjust school fee hike, look no further. Divisional Fee Regulatory Committees (DFRCs) are active now in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad."
In the last one year, several parents had raised the issues of unjust school fee hikes demanding relaxations in academic fees considering the shift to online education and financial crisis owing to the pandemic. Parents had raised issues of miscellaneous fees charged by schools for services such as library, canteen, playground, electricity, bus and maintenance fees when these services were not used by students as offline classes were shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, schools said they need fees to pay salaries of teachers and staff, maintain infrastructure, sustain, provide online teaching-learning services and develop digital resources for students.
Gaikwad said, "While most educational institutions have been doing a stellar job during the pandemic, we have still been receiving representations or complaints from parents regarding overcharging by a few."
DFRCs for the remaining divisions of Maharashtra will soon be formed. Gaikwad added, "Based on the selection panel's recommendations, we have also strengthened the state-level revision committee. Our policy discourages commercialisation and profiteering in the education sector. Strict action will be taken against schools indulging in malpractices."