Outside the gates of the Meridian School, an ICSE school on the Kalyan-Murbad road in Kalyan, around 200 parents gathered on Saturday, to protest against the school hiking its fees by 60 to 70 per cent.
Until last year, it charged Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000, which included Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,000 as school fees, with the rest charged for facilities like transport, uniforms and books.
School principal, Surdarshan Nair, said: “The parents’ allegations are based on incomplete information – on April 8, we issued a circular informing them that from the new academic year, the school will not provide transport and canteen facilities, or uniforms and textbooks, that we will only concentrate on teaching.”
The school has outsourced its canteen and transport to private contractors. Nair said if the parents wanted these facilities for their children, they could avail them for a charge, added Nair.
Arun Daatar, president of the school’s parent-teacher association, said: “Has the school taken permission from the state government’s school department for the new fee structure? If yes, we want to see it. If not, how did they almost double the fees? What criteria did they use? Did their last year’s balance sheet show a loss because their fees then were not enough?”
“If the school does not give us a proper explanation for the fee hike, we will stage a day-long protest in front of the school gates,” he added.