Mumbai: A handful of parents from the city’s private schools wrote to the state’s education department raising objections against a private firm that offered them “discounts” on school fees.
Pride Group claimed that it has a contract with the Maharashtra government to pay 50 per cent of the school fees on parents’ behalf, according to a Hindustan Times report.
“The company said they would give us discounts depending on the fee that our school charged. In return, we were asked to pay ₹2,500 to the personal account of one of their heads,” parent of a Vile Parle-based school told HT. The company has also asked the parents to submit documents like photographs, Aadhaar card, copies of their child’s school calendar, the report said.
Deputy director of education for the Mumbai region, Anil Sabale said the department would put out a disclaimer on all its websites stating that it had nothing to do with this company. “We will do so after we see the complaints filed by parents. Meanwhile, we urge parents not to fall for such traps,” Sabale was quoted.
However, Pride Group representative Soni Shelar redirected the reporter to another employee, Nazim, who identified herself as the manager of the company, to speak on the issue. “We do not have any recognition from the Central or state government. We are not an NGO or trust even and are only a private firm,” Nazim told the national daily.
“We have a mediator who does this work for us and parents are thus charged a processing fee,” the employee added.
Going by the law, Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2011, says private unaided schools can fix their fees, but there is no such provision for private companies to tie up with the government and schools to waive off fees of the students.