After Presidium School in Indirapuram, it is Apeejay School, Noida, that is in the line of fire. Irked by a 30 per cent hike in fees for the school's current academic year, a group of parents met principal SC Tiwari on Saturday to protest against the move. They demanded the immediate withdrawal of the steep hike.
The agitated parents complained that the school management had increased tuition and development fees without prior notice.
Yatendra Kasana, a parent, lamented that it had become a regular practice for the school management to increase fees every year by Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 without the parents' consent. “We parents pay development charges every year, but why we need to pay for the school's development eludes us,” he added.
What has angered parents even more is the school's utter indifference to student safety. In one incident, a chunk of loose plaster from the ceiling fell into a crowded classroom. Luckily, no student was hurt, but parents were left asking what the school did with all the money they took in the name of development charges.
Another grouse the parents had was that school authorities did not instal a generator despite frequent power cuts in Noida. As a result, students were forced to sit through these long outages in summer.
Neither the principal SC Tiwari, nor the vice-principal Shefali Gupta were available for comment.
PK Upadhyay, the district inspector of schools, Noida, justified the school's right to hike fees, however, adding that “they first needed to provide basic facilities to the students".
To support his argument, he even pointed out that the Noida association of schools had gone to court with a plea to allow them a 10 per cent hike in fees every year.
Upadhyay assured inspection of Apeejay School to make sure the students are getting basic facilities. "If anything is found amiss," he said, "action will be taken."