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Fee hike protests to spread

mumbai Updated: Sep 29, 2010 01:19 IST
Bhavya Dore

Several private schools in Kharghar remained shut on Tuesday, the second day of schools’ boycott by parents and activists.

On Monday, the police had detained 44 people after some protestors took to the streets while protesting against fee hikes in private schools and the government’s failure to regulate the hikes.

Organisers of the boycott now want the protests to grow bigger and are talking to parents in Panvel to join the protest.

On Monday evening, the Forum for Fairness in Education held a meeting with parents from Panvel to hold a protest there as well.

“We will decide on our plan of action next week, but so that children don’t suffer, we will think of some other kind of protest,” said Jayant Jain, president of the forum.

While activists didn’t take to the streets on Tuesday, schools still remained shut.

“On Tuesday, we went from school to school and found that except for a few, most were closed. The ones that stayed open had low attendance,” said Sanjay Jadhav, member of Sangharsh, one of the non-governmental organisations (NGO) behind the protest.

“Our movement has been a success till now. If the government does not wake up to the parents’ demands for an act to regulate fees, we will protest again.”

On September 1, the high court had ruled that the government would not be able to cap fee hikes through government resolutions, but would have to bring in an act to do so.

Vishwajyot and Apeejay were among the few schools that stayed open on Tuesday, while Sanjeevani International and Ryan International were among those that did not hold classes.

“Buses were not plying so children were not able to come to school. There were no classes, but the office stayed open,” said Vrinda Malse, principal of Sanjeevani International School in Kharghar.

“We will make up the days lost by holding classes on Saturdays.”

Parents of students in Kharghar are also planning to approach the government for setting up aided schools in the area, as presently, there are only unaided schools in Kharghar. “All the schools are unaided schools and most are affiliated to the ICSE or CBSE boards,” said Ramesh Menon, a parent, who refused to send his children to school although it — Vishwajyot — remained open on both days.