A day after the parents of the students of St Thomas School, Brown Road, Ludhiana, held protest outside school premises, agitations were held in front of deputy commissioner office on Friday and a memorandum against school authorities was submitted. The parents alleged that the school is charging an annual fee of Rs 3,000 over and above Rs 1,300 per month and Rs 300 for smart class, and also forcing them to purchase books from a particular shop.
Rajni Jain, a parent, said, “My child is in class 5 and we were forced to buy the set of books at Rs Rs5,700 and there is no security of children if they fall ill during school time. The school has been charging re-admission fee every year.”
“When we had met the school management earlier, we were told we should put children in government schools if we want to raise voice against fee hike,” she added.
Another parent, Harpreet Singh Maan, said, “The school has been getting a fixed commission from a particular shop for books and school dress. The shopkeeper is getting above maximum retail price (MRP) and usually other shopkeepers give 20 or 30% discount on MRP. They are not following the norm of Punjab and Haryana high court.”
“The school has been charging Rs3000 in the name of annual charges and the students of LKG have to pay Rs300 extra for smart class. My child is in class 3 and the shopkeeper has increased the price of books set to Rs4,060 from Rs2,600 this year,” he added.
Anil Walia, district, general secretary, parents association, said, “I was told by the shopkeepers that they pay Rs1000 as commission per student to the schools in the name of donation. We oppose this blatant acts of abuse.”
The parents had protested on Thursday too at CMC Church Chowk for around three hours and called it off after the assurance of police to organise a meeting with school management.