Gurgaon: Parents angry about stay order on fee hike prohibition
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Gurgaon: Parents angry about stay order on fee hike prohibition

Parents from several schools are set to go on a protest march in the first week of August against unjustified fee hikes.

Gurgaon: Parents angry about stay order on fee hike prohibition

Fed up with the government’s treatment of the fee hike issue, a group of parents from several schools in Gurgaon have decided to take out a protest march in the first week of August to press for a rollback of the hike.

Parents from Shalom Hills, Shri Ram School, DPS (Sushant Lok), Ryan International, DPS (Sector 45), Pathways World School and Shiv Nadar School will take part in the rally. According to parents, the rally will be a warning to schools that parents will no longer accept a steep, unjustified rise in school fees.

Parents said that the rally would demand compliance with CBSE affiliation norms, more transparency in the audit process, better focus on parent-teacher associations and safety of kids on campus.

Parents are upset with the state government for allowing at least four city schools to go ahead with the fee hike by putting a stay on an order by the Fee and Fund Regulatory Committee (FFRC). The stay order was given last month by PK Das, the additional chief secretary, the appellate authority, after four schools appealed against the order of the FFRC. The FFRC is currently auditing nine schools in Gurgaon. On May 2, the FFRC had prohibited any fee hike by schools until the final audit results were declared.

The four schools include DPS (Sushant Lok), DPS (Sector 45), Pathways World School and Pathways Aravali.

Divya Sethi, the parent of a student from Ryan International School, said, "We are tired of the apathy of schools and the state government. None of these schools follow rules of the government or the CBSE. Government officials, on the other hand, have turned a blind eye to all the issues, especially pertaining to fee hike."  

Parents are also concerned about the safety of students. "Even after a recent accident, where a student lost her life, these schools have not changed their ways. Many schools are still violating safety norms, and there is no appellate authority to check the safety details," said Gaurav Gulati, another parent from Ryan International School.

Another major concern is the lack of a transparent communication system between parents and school authorities. Samarth Gupta, a parent from DPS (Sector 45), said, “Schools in the city are not transparent about any issue. They are running on fees paid by us, but are not willing to speak to us or justify the hike. And if they are not making any profits, why can’t they show us their book of accounts?"

Schools, on the other hand, maintain that the annual hike of 10 to 15 per cent in fees is legitimate, and a tiff with parents would set a bad example for students.