Continuing their agitation against private schools over ‘unjustified’ fee hike, dozens of
Noida-based parents took to Twitter once again on Saturday morning to register their demand for rollback of increased fees by many private schools in the city.
“We have been using Twitter as a platform to reach out to the authorities concerned and to the public to draw their attention towards the issue of school fee hike. We have posted more than 10,000 tweets in the past month using hashtags such as #noidaschoolfeekilling #regulateschoolfee #noidaschoolfeehike #schoolfeeloot and #capschoolfee,” said Vinod Nair, a parent.
A number of parents also used Twitter to simply vent their anger against a school fee structure they find unjustified.
“Fee structure of some schools in Noida is similar to that of private engineering colleges. The burden on middle class parents to bear the cost of their kids’ education is massive,” Santanu, a parent, tweeted.
“What we paid for our masters course in college, we have ended up paying more for one child studying in 5th standard (sic),” tweeted Harpreet Kaur.
Parents’ groups have been protesting for the last one month against various private schools in the district, demanding rollback of increased fees and the various amounts charged by school managements. They have also demanded setting up of a regulatory body for private schools in the state.
Parents have alleged that schools have hiked their fees without keeping them in mind. They have also accused schools of selling expensive books of publishers other than the NCERT and of demanding capitation fees at the time of admission.
On the ground, parents have held peace marches, candle light marches and sit-ins outside private schools and the district administration’s office in order to draw the attention of district and state officials. However, they believe social media presence is an equally important aspect that they should work on.
“It is crucial that we have support both on the ground and on social media. We understand that a majority of the parents are working class people who might not have sufficient time to register their protest every day. But at least they can join us on Facebook and Twitter,” said Vandana Singh, a parent.
Despite continued protests by parents’ bodies against fee hike, the administration has not been able to do much so far. Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate NP Singh had formed a committee to probe parents’ allegations against private schools, but the administration is yet to send its report to the state education department.
“We are following due procedure in this case and I had already informed the city magistrate to probe allegations made against schools,” said Singh.