Upset with the school management for “unjustified fee hike”, parents of students of Tilak International School at Ghansoli broke open the gate lock, entered the premises and shouted slogans.
On Friday, no student came to school and anticipating trouble, the authorities had locked the gates. Even police were present at the spot.
The parents claimed that they had not got a notification from the school informing them about the hike in fees — from Rs 500 to Rs 700.
“The hike is not justified. The school cannot expect parents to pay an additional Rs 200 every month,” said Rajeshwari Jadhav, one of the parents. “The teachers are changed every month because of the school’s policies and this is affecting our children’s education.”
Another parent, Charusheela Birmale, added: “According to the government, fees can be increased by 15 per cent, but the management has directly hiked it by 40 per cent. They are not ready for talks. Whenever we question the principal, we are told, ‘if you can’t pay the fees, admit your child to a municipal school’. This is not acceptable.”
Parents alleged that the school was not providing proper amenities to the students.
“There are 70 students in one class, when there should not be more than 40 students. The lab too is not equipped properly. When the school is not providing good infrastructure, how can they expect us to pay high fees?” asked Vandana Shirki, one of the protesting parents.
But the school trustee, Sasi Damodaran, denied the allegations. “Our school provides many facilities and hence we have hiked the fees. We will hold a meeting on August 16 to discuss the future course of action,” Damodaran said.
Koparkhairane police did not detain anyone because the management had not filed a complaint. Senior Police Inspector Arun Walture said: “We were there to ensure that there would be no violent incident.”
Some parents have decided celebrate Independence Day on the school premises by wearing black ribbons on their hands to protest the fee hike.