Gurgaon parents take to streets against fee hike

Around 400 parents based in Gurgaon and members of the Millennium Parents’ Association marched to the house of the Deputy Commissioner Deepti Umashankar on Sunday.

Written by Chinki Sinha | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2009 1:02:45 am

Around 400 parents based in Gurgaon and members of the Millennium Parents’ Association marched to the house of the Deputy Commissioner Deepti Umashankar on Sunday. They demanded a minimum 50 percent representation of parents in the school management and a committee,on the lines of the S C Bansal Committee,to study the issue of fee hike in private schools of Haryana.

Many private schools in the region have recently sent out circulars to parents about a fee hike in order to implement the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations on teachers’ salaries. The proposed tuition fee hike is up to 50 percent in a few cases.

Harried parents have complained about the additional financial burden and are demanding governmental regulations in the fee hike.

The government has,however,said that the hike issue is best left for the school management to decide,as they are “private businesses”.

R K Yadav,a parent and member of the Association that organised the protest today,said the demand for 50 percent parent representation was justified as schools have been taking arbitrary decisions on the issue. He added they have submitted a letter to the Deputy Commissioner’s executive representative and also marked it to the Governor and Chief Minister.

“If the government does not take action within 15 days,the association would file a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana courts,Yadav said.

“We want them to constitute a committee that can look into the fee hike. There is no representation of parent when these matters are decided,” he said.

Earlier this month,the Education Department of Gurgaon had issued a notification to private schools that they would have to get a clearance from the government before they could hike fees.

District Education Officer of Gurgaon Jyoti Chaudhary said the schools would have to submit Form 6,along with their account books,and await clearance from the Education Directorate in Chandigarh before they could ask parents to pay the revised fees.

Chaudhary also said she has had a meeting with the schools and most of them have sent in the forms to the DEO. They would be sent to the Directorate of Education for clearance in a couple of days,she added. “If anyone has a complaint,they should approach us with a written complaint. The Deputy Commissioner has nothing to do with it.”

She also said parents should not worry as schools cannot charge any extra dues till the next academic year.

Deputy Commissioner Deepti Umashankar,meanwhile,said she had received the memorandum submitted by parents. “We are trying to do whatever is possible under our jurisdiction,” she said.

Education Minister Mange Ram Gupta said a committee has been constituted to look into complaints.

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