Three students of classes 1, 7 and 9 had to sit on the stairs outside the Shalom Hills International School in Sushant Lok 1 on Monday for more than five hours as the school management refused to take them in over their parents’ refusal to pay the increased school fee.
The students said they had also come to school on April 3, but were sent home because of “non-payment of fees”. Their parents claimed they had paid all the fees except the annual charges, the hike in which was not “justified”.
“The new session started on March 28 and we came last Monday to join our classes. We were informed that our names are not in the register as we had been given transfer certificates (TCs),” said Snigda Dembla, a class 7 student. However, parents of the children claimed they haven’t got any TCs.
After the April 3 incident, the parents had visited the office of the district education officer (DEO), Neelam Bhandari Nanda, seeking her help in the matter. Following this, the DEO issued an order on April 7 stating that the school should not take any action against students in the matter till the complaint against fee hike was settled.
On Monday, when they were again not allowed in the school, the parents of these students, along with others, stood outside the school trying to talk to the management.
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“We filed a case in the high court in September last year regarding unreasonable fee hike under the development charges category. We have been paying the tuition fee since then. We will also send a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office today (Monday),” said Ramphal Sheoran, parent of two of the students who weren’t allowed to attend classes. He is also the legal advisor of Haryana Abhibhavak Ekta Manch, a front contesting fee hikes in private schools.
The school management said they had talked to the parents several times and requested them to pay the fee, but since the parents had not done so for the last two years, they had to take strict action.
“We have issued TCs to the students for non-payment of fees for the last two years. We cannot tolerate the negligence anymore,” said Atul Bhatt, principal, Shalom Hills International School.
Earlier last week, parents from 40 private schools, including DPSG, Ryan International, Salwan Public School, Blue Bells Model School, GD Goenka, Shiv Nadar and some schools from Faridabad, took part in a car rally to protest against the fee hike by private schools.
They had also handed over a memorandum to divisional commissioner D Suresh at his residence seeking his intervention. On Sunday, a large number of parents from Gurgaon and Faridabad also protested at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against fee hike.