Angry about the steep hike in school fee, around 80 parents assembled at Leisure Valley Park and formed a parent-body in Gurgaon on Sunday.
The parent-body unanimously blamed Haryana government's policies for allowing private schools to hike arbitrary fees in the name of annual, tuition, transportation and development charges. They threatened to knock on the court's door if the fees were not rolled back.
Michael Pinto is a resident of Sector 28, whose son studies in Ryan International School. He had met the Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma six times in the past year and requested him to stop fee enhancements for the academic session. The minister had constituted a committee to look into the matter, which proved to be a toothless body as schools continued with fee hikes.
Saroj Sachdeva, another parent, said that he, along with other parents, met Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner, TL Satya Prakash, to intervene in the fee hike issue. He had asked the parents to first meet the principals of respective schools and try and settle the issue among themselves. Sachdeva added that the meeting with the authorities of Alpine Convent School in Sector 38 came as a rude shock as instead of listening to the grievances of parents, the school authorities threatened to expel the children.
"Schools have hiked fee up to 23%," said Nandini Kulshrestha, whose 7-year-old son studies in Alpine Convent School. "It has become extremely difficult for a middle class family to manage its monthly budget."
Parents have appealed to all Gurgaon residents to show their solidarity by attending a protest to be held at Leisure Valley Park on May 15. They have also planned to present a memorandum to the Haryana Education Minister on the day, requesting his intervention in the matter.
Earlier, the State Education Panel had directed six private schools to not hike fees till an audit of their accounts.
TL Satya Prakash said that private schools should not hike fees by more than 10 per cent every academic year. "We have asked the District Education Officer to collect data on how many schools have hiked fee and on what grounds.”