MUMBAI: In a move that will cheer parents and students, the state school education department has decided to review the fees of all unaided schools in Maharashtra and "correct" them from the ensuing academic year.
On Friday, the government passed two resolutions—one which thrashed the Bansal committee report which gave schools a free hand to hike fees, and the other which permitted schools to hike fees by a maximum of 50%, but only after the state's nod, to pay the Sixth Pay Commission scales to their staff, and an additional monthly sum of Rs 50 to pay the arrears of the new pay scales.
While the two decisions may sound contradictory, school education minister Balasaheb Thorat said: "For example, if an ICSE school charges Rs 3,500/ month, we will first check if this fee is justified based on the expenses and the income of the school. If yes, then the school can ask every child to pay the revised fee and Rs 50 a month so that it can pay the new salaries to its staff. If we find that the fee they charge is not justified, we will reduce it." The decision is applicable to every school in Maharashtra, irrespective of the board it is affiliated to.