Over 500 parents of children studying in private schools in Gurgaon took out a silent protest march to press for their demand of rolling back the hike in school fees on Sunday.
They gathered at Huda City Centre with banners and posters with slogans against fee hike and the schools, and marched to Galleria market. Parents from various schools, including Shalom Hills, Shri Ram Schools, DPS Sushant Lok, Ryan International, Pathways World School and Shiv Nadar, participated in the march.
Parents said that the protest is an indication that they would not tolerate the schools’ abuse of the law. They are aggravated by the state government’s decision to let some schools go ahead with the fee hike by putting a stay on an order by the Fee and Fund Regulatory Committee (FFRC). Moreover, there is also no clarity over the auditing procedure of schools. The FFRC has not initiated the audit process due to the prevailing ambiguity over its role.
The protesting parents were also accompanied by their children. Some of the kids’ grandparents also participated in the march.
Dharmender Ahluwalia, a parent from Amity International School, said, “We are tired of the apathy of the schools and the state government. None of these schools follow the rules of CBSE. Government officials, on the other hand are also not taking any action pertaining the fee hike.”
Pankhuri Sharma, another parent, added, "One of our prime concerns is the safety and security of our kids. Recently, there have been some accidents in schools, but the schools have not changed their ways. Many schools are still violating safety norms."
Parents are also concerned about the lack of transparent communication with the schools. "The schools are running on our money, but they are not ready to talk to us. If they are not making any profit, why cannot they show us their books of accounts? After the go-ahead given to some schools for hiking the fees, other schools have also started showing tantrums [read: been emboldened]," said Dipankar Ghosh, one of the parents.
Meanwhile, over 12,000 parents have joined a group on Facebook called Gurgaon Parents for Better Education and are appealing others to join them in the cause.
TAGS: Shalom Hills / Shri Ram Schools / DPS Sushant Lok / Ryan International / Pathways world school / Shiv Nadar / Gurgaon / Huda City Centre / Galleria market / School fees