Around 5,000 parents of children studying in 40 schools in Gurgaon will hold a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on April 9 against fee hike by various private schools, according to a parents’ body that met in Gurgaon on Thursday.
The All India Parents Forum for Education, which held a meeting in Shama tourist complex near Sadar area, also decided that parents from Gurgaon and Faridabad will hold a protest at the Gurgaon divisional commissioner’s office on April 2.
The parents who will protest at Jantar Mantar will also march to the Parliament House to hand over a memorandum meant for the President, Prime Minister and the chief minister of Delhi, said Ramesh Rana, president, All India Parents Forum for Education.
The parents have demanded that the district administration put in place a mechanism to ensure that private schools do not ‘unjustifiably’ increase their fees. They have also demanded that there should be no increase in fees for academic year 2017-18 and the coming three years.
“We have been requesting the government for the last three years to take some action against fee hike. Every year we request parents to come forward and fight this injustice, but all in vain. It’s high time now that the government comes forward and takes action against the unjust fee hike to provide relief to parents,” said Tripti Singh, a parent.
In the meeting, parents said school fees have increased by nearly 400% in the last eight to 10 years. Stating that this was a major problem for parents belonging to low-income groups, forum members said the government should enact a new law to give statutory status to The Fees and Fund Regulatory committee (FFRC). The body was formed under Section 158 A of the Haryana School Education Act and comes under the authority of the divisional commissioner in Gurgaon.
“There is no clarity on guidelines and the officials themselves are not aware of what action they can take. They do not have the authority to entertain cases of arbitrary fee hike,” said Anil Kumar, vice president of the forum. In addition, parents have also demanded an education policy for Haryana.
Parents of children studying in Salwan Public School, Ryan International School, Shiv Nadar, Presidium School, and Blue Bells Public School also took part in the meeting. They have been protesting against the fee hike in these individual schools. Some of them have also filed complaints with the chief minister’s window, deputy commissioner, district education officer and divisional commissioner D Suresh.
PK Das, additional chief secretary (school education), has called a meeting on April 5 in Panchkula with divisional commissioners of Hisar, Ambala, Rohtak and Gurgaon regarding fees and fund of private schools.
Parents in a number of states, including Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, have protested against fee hike in private schools in the last three years.