Presidium Parents Association (PPA), a parents group in Indirapuram, sat on a day-long hunger strike today in front of Presidium School at Ahinsa Khand 1. The strike was held to protest arbitrary fees imposed by the school.
Earlier, the school authorities had withheld the results of 50 students who had not paid development charges. Parents said these charges were illegal, as they violated the norms of the NOC issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
"We have been forced to go on a hunger strike because of the callous attitude of the CBSE authorities and the district magistrate. We realised we wouldn't be heard unless we ruffled some feathers," said Sachin Soni, vice-president, PPA.
Brahm Deo Singh, city magistrate, Ghaziabad, reached the school by afternoon and held a meeting with the parents and school authorities. PPA members included Alok Kumar, Sachin Soni, Shivani Jain, Mitali A Sinha and Praveen Gupta, while GS Matharu, CEO Presidium School, represented the school.
Shivani Jain, president of PPA, told City Spidey that the meeting failed to reach a conclusion. "The school management refused to abide by the NOC, saying it was an unaided institution," she said.
Mitali Sinha, a protesting parent, said the school offered to waive the development fees of the 50 students this time if they discontinued the strike. This, however, was shot down by PPA.
Brahm Deo Singh, city magistrate, Ghaziabad (right), and GS Matharu. CEO of Presidium School, address parents
On March 22, PPA had filed a complaint with the Commissioner, Meerut zone, outlining the school management's unlawful activities. The district inspector of schools, Ghaziabad, on March 29 issued a letter to the school demanding a response about the violations of the NOC issued by CBSE. It demanded the response within three days, failing which the matter would be passed on to the local authorities. The letter also ordered the school to release the results immediately.
GS Matharu, the CEO of Presidium School, refused to provide any immediate solution. He said that Presidium would respond directly to the district inspector of schools and action would be taken accordingly. The CEO, however, released the students' results to the parents.
The parents agreed to hold off the hunger strike till they received information on whether any action was being taken against the school authorities.
The city magistrate asked parents to wait for the final report from the district inspector of schools.
"It is not over yet. We will see the fight through," said Shivani Jain.