School Education Minister calls for a meeting to settle school fee hike row
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In an attempt to discuss the matter of fee hike in private schools raised by parents of students studying in those schools, the state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has initiated a meeting on October 27, with the concerned education officials. On the other hand, parents have opposed the decision claiming the inspection by the officials in this matter should not be stayed.

On Thursday, the state school education department issued a letter calling for a meeting to discuss the matter of school fees of St. Joseph's High School, New Panvel and St. Francis High School at Tidke Colony and Rane Nagar, Nashik. The meeting will be conducted at 1 pm on October 27, 2020 at Mantralaya.

Parents of students studying in the New Panvel School had raised complaints regarding fee hike. Following these complaints, on September 16, the deputy director of education had formed two committees of department officials to look into the complaints of parents from different schools. The officials appointed by the department were directed to inspect the documents of St. Joseph's High School, New Panvel.

Jayant Jain, president of Forum For Fairness in Education (FFE), a non-governmental organisation, said, "Parents of students studying in around 35 schools have raised the issue of fee hike. The state government should take some action and listen to the concerns raised by parents." While Manoj Tekde, president of Prahar Students Organisation, Maharashtra, said, "Parents of students from different schools had met Bacchu Kadu, state Minister For School Education, after which the inspection was initiated. The inspection should not stop under any circumstance."

Officials of the state school education department clarified that the meeting has been initiated to discuss the matter. A senior official of the department said, "The meeting has been called to discuss and understand the matter. The school had appealed, so the process is to hear the matter as per natural justice. The inspection or enquiry has not been stopped."

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