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After many private schools situated on DDA land hiked their fees despite high court directives and strict orders from the education department not to do so without government sanction, parents refused to pay the fees and have taken the schools to court.
On Monday, as many as 100 parents protested outside Kalka Public School over the hike. More than 700 parents also protested outside the Rohini and Pitampura branches of Maxfort School, after they hiked their fees.
Schools, on the other hand, said they have no alternative. “We incur recurring expenses in establishment, which go up by 12 to 15 per cent each year. This constitutes 70 per cent of the total expenditure of the school. If we don’t hike the fees, we will not be able to pay teachers’ salaries,” said S K Bhattacharya, president of the Action Committee of Unaided Private Schools in the capital.
Citing Section 17 of the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, schools claimed that the Act empowers ‘the management committee of schools and not government’ to decide their own fees.
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Schools have also blamed the government’s alleged slow response for the present situation. “The government came out with its last notification on February 19, stating that schools cannot increase fees, and said it would come out with detailed guidelines. Since then, we haven’t heard a word from the government. Most schools have already sent their proposed fee structures, but have received no response,” said Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School.
Schools that have reportedly increased their fees include Ryan International School, Vasant Kunj, DPS Mathura Road, Salwan Public School, Rajinder Nagar, St Angel’s School and St Mark’s School.
Somesh Arora, whose child studies in K R Mangalam World School, Vikaspuri, said, “Over 300 of us have refused to pay the hiked fees. We have submitted a representation to the school stating that the new fee is against government policy and we will not pay it.” The school increased its fees from Rs 30,000 to Rs 33,000 — a 10 per cent hike.
M L Agarwal, a parent, said, “The Directorate of Education issued special orders against Maxfort School, telling them not to increase fees. The school doesn’t seem to care at all.”
Declaring that “schools cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialisation of education”, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath had in January ordered the DoE to ensure schools situated on land allotted by the DDA do not hike their fees without prior sanction.