Sunday, June 14, 2009

Goa Parents to approach high court against hike in unaided school fees

Parents of Unaided schools under the banner of "All Goa Unaided Schools Parents Association" met in Margao on Saturday to chalk out a future course of action against the arbitrary hike in school fees of unaided schools in the state of Goa.The meeting was held at the BM hall in Margao at 5.30 pm on Saturday, the 13th of May 2009 as a follower to their earlier meeting held in late March 2009 where the whole issue was brought to the fore and the resolve to fight the unjust hike was expressed unanimously by all the parents.

After having approached the directorate of education to redress their grievances and finding that the process is being dragged by the concernegoa high courtd authorities, the parents of these schools have now decided to approach the high court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the regular hike in fees by managements of recognized private unaided schools.

The parents have expressed their disappointment at the lack of action from the Education department on the complaints lodged by them against the school managements for hiking fees besides other related issues.The association felt that all their talks with the government and the Directorate of education have failed to evince the desired results and now after a long wait, they have no choice but to approach the court to fight for justice to stop the loot under the guise of quality education and vowed to continue the fight against the arbitrary fee hikes in unaided schools in Goa.

It was also pointed out that parents in Mumbai and Del hi are fighting similar battles and called upon the parents in Goa to join the battle in the interest of justice and future of their children. The association members said that the department of education was forced to seek details of the fee structures of the schools only after receiving complaints from the parents in this matter and stressed that the failure of the directorate to meaningfully enforce the Goa School education Act 1984 which through section 19, sub section (3) and (4) deals with the fees and other charges to be collected by schools has led to the commercialisation of education in the state.

The association now would like to express the unrest among parents through the PIL aiming to streamline the erring managements and  trustees of private unaided schools and the directorate of education for denying justice and exploiting the parents.

The parents have also stressed that they are not against the teachers getting better salaries or being granted the pay scales under the  sixth pay commission recommendations. They are however confident that the salaries as above can be paid through the existing fee structures levied currently by the management of such schools.

The association also highlighted their back stage struggles during which they sought various documents including audited account statements of these schools through the "right to information(RTI)" act which exposed the blatant diversion of funds to different heads of accounting which was a gross violation. The association therefore plans to seek redressal of all these issues through the Public Interest litigation which is proposed to be filed shortly.

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