Parents of students in private schools of the city protested against the fees hike, on Sunday. As many as 200 parents gathered at Huda City Centre in the morning, demanding a rollback of the fees hike.
Parents alleged that schools are not adhering to the Haryana School Education Act 1995 & Rules 2003.Parents said they went on the protest as they are fed up with government apathy on the fee hike issue.
“We want compliance of CBSE affiliation norms by schools, more transparency in the audit process and better focus on parent-teacher associations and safety of children on campus,” Bharat Bhushan, a parent, said.
“For this academic session, there was a hike of 15%-17%; we had protested on the issue earlier and the school had rolled back 2%. The hike is not justified,” Pawan Diwan, a protesting parent, said.
Parents said they plan to approach the district education officials and obtain Form 6, which has the fee details and financials of the school. They will then approach the Fee and Fund Regulatory Committee and demand a fees audit, if irregularities are found.
Schools can charge fees under five different subheads -- admission fees, tuition fees, sports fees, people fund and science fund. “Schools have opened their own shops through which they sell items such as books and uniforms, at a premium, and never answer when we ask them to justify the overheads,” Anuj Chauhan, a parent, said.
Parents said they are upset with the state government for allowing at least four city schools to go ahead with the fees hike by staying an order of the Fee and Fund Regulatory Committee (FFRC). The FFRC had, on May 2, stayed any fees hike by schools until the final audit results were declared.
According to the rules, Haryana schools can charge tuition fees and 3 funds (Red Cross fund, child welfare fund & sports fund).
“Fees hike is a problem when parents are kept out of the decision making body. The PTA (parents teachers association) of a school is constituted at the order of the school, without allowing parents to select their representatives. Any parent who files a complaint with the school is never considered for the PTA body,” Harish Ahuja of Sector 27 said.
After several complaints by parents, a regulatory committee was formed last year to audit nine private schools, following an order by the Fee and Fund regulatory committee.
In February, an audit by the district administration found that four private schools in Gurgaon overcharging. The team had audited seven schools, of which four were found violating section 198 of Haryana State Education rules, which states that schools can only charge education fees.
The district education officer declined to comment, starting that the matter is being looked into by the state.
Colonel (retired) Pratap Singh, director of CCA School in Sector 4 and president of HPSC(Haryana progressive school conference) said, “Parents want to admit their children in the best schools, being fully aware of the fees structure, but after admissions, don’t want to pay. Hardly 10% of parents who have issues with the fees.”