August 8, 2009 3:40:53 am
Parents of children studying in private schools of the state heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court asked the schools to consider the opinion of the state government before hiking the fees.
Earlier parents of students of many schools had staged demonstrations and held road blockades to protest against the school authorities decision to hike fees from March,but of no avail.
It is a very important decision. The apex court has upheld the decision of the Delhi High Court,which asks schools to take the permission of the state government before increasing fees. This comes as a respite to thousands of guardians in the state, said Subir De,the convener of West Bengal Private Schools Guardians Federation.
According to De,the decision will have consequences for the institutions governed by minority groups,as these schools will have to be more transparent in their administration.
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The federation,consisting of guardians of students of nearly 105 private schools in the state,was formed after the schools decided to go for a steep hike in fee.
When the parents took to the streets protesting the fee hike,the state School Education Department had issued a notice to private institutions to judiciously increase the fees in consultation with the government.
Since the government does not have the right to directly interfere in the affairs of private schools,it could not do much though.
The School Education department has welcomed the decision of the apex court. The decision will help deal with the problem of fees hike, said Partha De,state School Education Minister.
The minority institutions,however,did not accept that the decision will curtail their right of deciding the fees.
We have heard about the decision. But we have not received a copy of the order. It is not clear whether the judgment is only for private English medium schools and minority educational institutions are included in that category, said Herod Mullick,the state secretary of Bangiya Christiya Pariseba.
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