Nearly 80 percent students of the school refrained from going to school today to protest against a 25-percent fee hike, the highest in three years.
Today, nearly 80 percent students of Apeejay School in Sector 16A, Noida, mass-bunked to protest against a 25-percent fee hike for the current academic session. The hike, parents alleged, has been the highest in the last three years.
In April this year, the Yogi-led government approved an ordinance to regulate school fees charged by private schools (Fee Regulatory Adhiniyam), including minority institutions, affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and the UP Board of Secondary Education. However, Apeejay still hasn’t implemented the regulations, raising the ire of parents.
“According to the ordinance a school can’t hike fees by more than 7-8 percent,” said a parent, who had come to take part in the protests, and added, “The school management is charging extra money for electricity, health and hygiene, computer, swimming and other facilities. The school is also charging parents for sports classes. For every extra class — such as chess, communication and writing — the school imposes a fee on parents. This is wrong! If we don’t pay up, our children will be made to sit alone in the class.”
Another parent, Sanjeev Kumar, said that the school has also hired Valedra (a sister concern) to provide “special interests” training, such as calligraphy, pottery, abacus, dance to its students for an extra fee.
Kumar has two children studying in the Apeejay. He is now paying Rs 39,450 quarterly for his son, who is in Class VI, while previously it was Rs 22,245 quarterly. For his daughter in Class X, he is paying Rs 34,000.
He retaliates, “Apeejay also has a school in Delhi, where the fees is less by about 40 percent compared to the Noida branch. But why so?”
His brother’s children — in Class I and IV — are also in the same school, and the fees add up to Rs 33,800 and Rs 33,000, respectively.
The parents received a message from the school management, saying students who bunked classes today must be sent with a leave application tomorrow.
City Spidey tried to contact the principal and the school management over phone, however the calls went unanswered.