After a three-week agitation by parents against the fee hike in private schools and alleged nexus of school managements with book shop owners, Ludhiana deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat has directed the schools to reduce development charges by 30% and increase tuition fee only by 5%.
The decision was taken during a meeting of parents and management committees of private schools with deputy commissioner at his office on Wednesday.
Ravi Bhagat said, “The issue has been resolved. From now on, tuition fee will be increased by not more than 5% and schools will have to reduce development charges by 30% from the new academic year. Besides, schools will provide textbooks to the needy students at 25% discount.”
Bhagat said, “Schools will give list of books to the parents, three months before the beginning of new session. Apart from this, schools will inform parents about the colour of uniform and shoes. Parents will be free to purchase books and uniform from anywhere. The fee will be deposited through bank.”
Meetpal Singh Dugri, zonal president of the Student Organisation of India (SOI), said, “The issue has been sorted out on the directions of deputy chief minister. It has come as a relief for parents.”
Rajesh Rudra, representative of private schools, said, “On Monday, we met education minister Daljit Singh Cheema, who assured us that rights of private schools will also be protected. The directions issued by the DC will be followed by all 1,450 private schools.”
Rajinder Ghai, district president of the Parents Association, said, “Some demands of parents have been accepted. Now, we are waiting for the formation of state regulatory committee that will review the fee structure of all schools.”
Parents create drama after decision, call off protest later
Meanwhile, a high drama was witnessed, as some parents staged a protest outside deputy commissioner’s office alleging unfair decision.
Parents of children studying in MGM School, Dugri and Greenland Convent School, Sector 32, staged protest against private schools and Parents’ Association district president Rajinder Ghai.
They alleged that the decision was not fair and they will have to pay increased fee every month.
Parents also submitted a memorandum to the DC demanding the decision to be reviewed. But later, they withdrew the application and called off the protest.
Raman Sharma, a parent from Greenland Convent School, said, “The verdict has given a little relief to the parents, and the state regulatory committee may also reduce the tuition fee in future. We have decided to take up the matter in court.”