Hundreds of parents took out a candle light protest on Sunday evening alleging the goverment’s failure in implementing its education policy and curbing the high-handed and whimsical ways of private schools in the city.
The parents demanded that the government come out with a proper education policy and implement the same. They claimed there was simply no check on the functioning of private schools and they are being allowed to fleece the parents as and when they like.
The protesting parents took out a march at the Civil Lines on Sunday evening and also set fire to the effigies of PK Das, additional chief secretary and D Suresh, the divisional commissioner.
The parents demanded the implementation of a strong education policy, putting a cap on the total chargeable school fee, abolition of additional charges along with the school fee and no fee hike before the schools’ account books are scrutinised by chartered accountants.
The parents shouted slogans against government officials, including Suresh, and Das, as they claimed these officials failed to address their plight despite making assurances.
Advocate Ramphal Sheoran (42), one of the protesting parents and a resident of Sector 55 said, “We decided to organise a dummy funeral and protest as these officials have failed to help us. More such protests will be held if justice is not done and the blackmailing by schools continue.”
Dinesh Kumar Kharb, another parent, said, “We have come under one umbrella and will fight for our rights. All commercial activities on campuses have to be stopped at the earliest, as the parents are being fleeced in the name of such activities.”
Earlier in the day, the parents narrated their plight to Gurgaon MLA Umesh Agarwal and sought his help.
The parents said they had submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on April 9, but nothing happened.
Sanjesh Sindhu, another parent, said, “No action is being taken against these schools despite the harassment to students and parents. They are not being made to follow guidelines. This is unfair.”
The parents demanded they be kept in the loop before a decision on the Form 6 proposal is taken. They also want the school authorities to take them into confidence before charting its expenditure plan. They said there should be no branded school dress, copies, books and worksheets. They said NCERT books should be made compulsory for all aided and unaided schools and there should be an audit of their books every year.
The parents also demanded criminal proceedings against the school authorities for the harassment to the parents and their wards.
They said they were summoned by the sub-divisional magistrate, Bharat Bhushan, on Saturday to discuss the issue. However, the meeting ended inconclusively.