Representational pic
Representational pic

In an attempt to reduce the fees charged by private schools and professional degree colleges, parents have demanded the state government to form fee regulation committees both for schools and colleges. Parents said the state government does not have any hold or control over the exorbitant fees charged by private schools and degree colleges offering professional courses.

Parents of students studying in private colleges said fees are charged under miscellaneous terms by the college management. Shubhankar Gupta, a parent of a student studying in a private dental college said, "The academic fees in a semi-government aided dental college is Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh per year for Bachelor of Dental Studies (BDS) programme. But the same fees in a private college goes as high as Rs 8 to Rs 10 lakhs per year. First of all, it is difficult for students to secure a seat for the BDS course. Then, the academic fees only keep increasing every year."

There is no proactive intervention from the state government in fee matters for professional courses, such as engineering, once it is approved for a particular college or technical institute. Ragini Agarwal, an engineering student said, "I am paying a fee of Rs 1.40 lakh per year for a four-year computer engineering course. Every year, when I ask for the fee breakup, a certain amount of Rs 10,000 to 15,000 is marked under miscellaneous charges by the college. What are these charges? Are they approved by the state government for that particular educational institute or college under academic fees?"

The Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) has now said that private professional colleges across Maharashtra cannot charge more than twice the sum of welfare fees, college kit charges, student association tariff and additional admission charges being charged in government colleges offering the same professional courses.

In addition, parents of students studying in private unaided schools have demanded the state to form a fee regulation committee to take strict action against schools that are overcharging. Members of Yuva Sena handed over a memorandum to state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Thursday, demanding the need to set up a school fee regulation authority on the lines of higher and technical education FRA.

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Free Press Journal