The aggrieved parents who have approached the high court to intervene in their grievances relating to arbitrary school fee hikes by private unaided schools under the banner of All Goa Unaided schools Parents Association,(AGUSPA) were relieved when the high court of Bombay at Goa extended the interim stay on approval of fee hikes by government recognised private unaided schools in Goa till August 4.
The matter came up following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by AGUSPA. The advocate general Mr Subodh kantak informed the bench that the government had already constituted a committee to look into the accounts of government recognised unaided private schools in the state of Goa.
AGUSPA maintained that the fee hikes were completely arbitrary and that all their efforts to elicit cooperation from the government and the directorate of education to curb the "commercialisation of education" had failed and therefore the only option available to them was to move the high court.
While AGUSPA was against any fee hikes, the association was of the view that a committee of experts should be formed to work on the financial matters pertaining to the unaided schools and prepare a report on whether salaries as per the Sixth pay commission recommendations could be paid to teachers within the current existing fee structure.
AGUSPA held the Directorate of education responsible for the arbitrary fee hikes and maintained that the failure of DoE to meticulously enforce the Goa School education Act 1984 through section 19, sub section (3) and (4) which deals with the fees and other charges to be collected by schools , has led to the present situation where education in Goa has become commercialised.
Seeking to correct the system through the PIL, AGUSPA stated that the ongoing battle is aimed at streamlining erring managements and trustees of unaided schools and the DoE which has denied justice for long to parents who have been unduly exploited due to inaction.
AGUSPA has also sought that the DoE should constitute an authority to inspect and audit the account statements of recognised private unaided schools in Goa which they pointed out is mandatory under Section 10, sub-section 7 and under the rules framed in the Goa education Act 1984.