Many private schools are happy, but scores of parents are worried after the Madras High Court stayed the operation of the fee structure for private unaided schools in the State.
D.C. Elangovan, secretary, Federation of Associations of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu, said the order had brought great relief to several schools. “We thought that the fee prescribed by the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee was too less and went to court. We are waiting for the order copy to understand the modalities to be followed henceforth.”
After the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee, chaired by former judge of the Madras High Court Justice K. Govindarajan stipulated the fees to be collected, nearly 6,500 private schools had raised objection and sought revision.
The committee, in its response had stated that a decision on revision would be taken next year as it required re-inspection of the institutions.
Until then, schools were expected to charge the fee it had prescribed. However, Tuesday's order permits schools that had filed a writ petition on the matter to charge the fees they intended to, at the beginning of the academic year, according to N. Vijayan, general secretary, Federation of Matriculation Schools' Associations in Tamil Nadu.
Parents are now a worried lot. “Until there is a further order, schools will continue fleecing us. This means that I will have to pay Rs.6,500 for the second term tomorrow and we cannot question the management,” said the father of a class VI student.
The last few weeks saw some parents of city schools, including C.S.I. Ewart Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Sethu Bhaskara Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Ambattur, CSI Jessie Moses Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Anna Nagar, CSI Bain Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kilpauk and Alpha Matriculation Higher Secondary School, protesting against the “high fees”.
R. Muthukrishnan, parent of a student going to CSI Bain Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kilpauk, said a meeting between parent-representatives and members of the school's management were scheduled on Wednesday.
“After some parents staged a protest a few weeks ago and met members of the Govindarajan Committee, the management stopped collection of fees and said they would hold a meeting with parents. We will know tomorrow,” he said.
The CPI (M) has urged the Government to take necessary steps to ensure that schools did not collect more than the fee prescribed by the Govindarajan Committee.
“The Chief Minister and the Education Minister have remained silent on the issue. The government should act immediately,” the party's State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said in a statement.
The SFI and the DYFI issued a statement saying they would hold a demonstration on Wednesday, urging the government to go for another appeal in the matter.