The Gautam Budh Nagar Parents’ Association on Friday held a press conference to announce the road map of their protest against the unjustified fee hikes by many private Noida schools. Speaking to the media at the Sector 34 community centre, parents said that they would keep intensifying the protest till the schools rolled back their fees.
In the past few weeks, schools such as Apeejay and DPS have faced a lot of flak from parents for hiking school fees by as much as 42 per cent. This protest, which started with parents holding a demonstration at Indirapuram’s Presidium School on March 18, has grown into encompassing educational institutions across the NCR, including schools such as Ryan International in Gurgaon.
Neeti Shrivastava, president of the Gautam Budh Nagar Parents’ Association (GBNPA), said they would take out a march this Sunday from Hotel Radisson Blu in Sector 18 through the market to show their solidarity with the district administration. “Schools have started behaving like profit-making organisations and not the guardians of education they are supposed to be. They are not interested in educating children, only in running a profitable business,” she said.
At the press conference, the GBNPA made the following demands:
1. The formation of a fee-regulatory body, which would check whether the fees charged by schools were used under the same head.
2. A complete ban on annual, development, online and magazine charges, which are thrust upon parents at the start of the every academic year.
3. An audit of school accounts, which would show how, despite making heavy profits, schools still hike fees every year.
4. Provision for payment of school fees every month, instead of every quarter.
5. A rollback of the fees to the amount that was charged in 2010.
Shrivastava said that she tweets Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Prime Minister Narendra Modi every day to look into their problem but is yet to receive a reply from any of them. “I have also written to the chairman of CBSE, but to no avail,” she added. “We will resort to legal action if we don’t get help from anyone.”