An educational group is threatening Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) alleging the violation of Right to Education Act, 2009 by the TMC. Educational group is alleging that seven English Medium schools under the civic body are charging fees. After the allegation the education officials from the TMC claimed that the fees are being charged by them in accordance with the old resolution passed by the civic body of Education, while the activists claim that the resolution becomes null and void the moment RTE came in effect.
“Civic schools cannot collect fees from its students. However, if TMC officials are charging fees according to any resolution, it has to be revoked in order to implement RTE Act. If TMC schools are charging fees even seven years after the RTE Act was implemented, then it is a blatant violation of the Act,” said Ghanshyam Sonar, convenor of Samaan Shikshan Mulbhut Adhikar Samiti.
The matter of civic schools charging fees came into light when lawyer Shakeel Ahmed, for the admission of his son approached the Court Naka municipal school in Thane.
Upon contacting the school for the admission of his son, the lawyer found that the school is charging a fee of Rs 1,850 per year from the students. Officials from TMC call this fee as nominal fee, while the activists say that these schools cannot charge single rupee from the students.
“The department runs 140 other schools apart from these seven. Of these 140 schools, 127 are primary schools having 30,000 students. We are not collecting a single rupee from these 30,000. Previously, there was an educational board which started these seven English-medium schools in 2007-08,” Joshi, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Education), said.
He added, “We knew these schools have been collecting fees. However, following the complaint from the educational rights group, we will examine the matter. We will take a decision according to the provisions of the RTE Act within a week”.