A day after senior ministers took strong objection against the promulgation of an ordinance, the School Education Department on Thursday issued the government resolution for the 15% reduction in fees for all schools under the jurisdiction of various boards and of all mediums. The 15% cut will be applicable for the academic year 2021-22 only in Maharashtra especially in the wake of ongoing coronavirus pandemic led situation. It will be effective from today.
As per the government resolution, the department has asked the schools to adjust the fees paid by the parents for the full year next month or in three months or next year. If it is not possible then the school management should refund the fees to the parents.
The department has clarified that in case of any dispute it should be filed with the regional fee regulatory authority or grievance redressal committee established on February 26, 2020. The rulings given by the regional fee regulatory authority or the grievance redressal committee will be final.
Further, the department has said the school management should not debar students, in case of non-payment of fees or arrears, from online and offline classes or from appearing from exams. Besides, the school management should not keep on hold the results of such students.
As reported by The Free Press Journal, the state cabinet had cleared the 15% cut two weeks ago but the School Education Department could not issue the resolution due to objections raised by the ministers, who run schools, against the issuance of an ordinance as it would set a precedent and lead to legal issues. The ministers were insisting that the government should issue a government resolution or a circular to avoid legal complications.
These ministers strongly opposed the promulgation of an ordinance and also the 15% cut in fees citing that schools have not hiked fees for three years but they have paid salaries to their employees despite financial crunch because of the COVID-19 induced lockdown. Some ministers said if the government promulgates an ordinance it should be applicable for the current academic year 2021-22 only and not in future.