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Home / Cities / Parents protest outside Panchkula school over ‘fee hike’

Parents protest outside Panchkula school over ‘fee hike’

They raised slogans of “No school, no fee” and “Make education free for all”

cities Updated: May 31, 2020 01:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Parents protesting outside St Soldier Divine Public School in Sector 16, Panchkula, on Saturday.
Parents protesting outside St Soldier Divine Public School in Sector 16, Panchkula, on Saturday.(SANT ARORA/HT)

More than 40 parents protested for over two hours outside St Soldier Divine Public School, Sector 16, Panckula, over a ‘hike’ in fees, on Saturday.

They raised slogans of “No school, no fee” and “Make education free for all”.

In a signed letter that was later pasted on the school’s gate, the parents wrote: “ Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not in a position to afford the fee structure uploaded by the school on its portal.”

Parents demanded that there should be full fee concession for three months – April, May and June, as no classes were conducted.

“From July onwards, we will only pay the amended tuition fee of ₹3,050 per month. No additional cost like annual charges should be levied for whole academic year,” the letter said.

One of the parents who participated in the protest said: “In February, the school revised the fees from ₹3050 to ₹3,367, which we thought is the annual hike of 10%. In March, when we logged into the school portal to submit the fees, we found the school was now charging ₹5,200.”

“When we raised the issue, the fee was reduced back to ₹3050 for April and May. But now, from June onwards, it has been changed back to ₹5,200, plus ₹2,200 as bus charges.”

Another parent said: “We are not ready to pay the hiked fee. Due to the lockdown, many businesses have been adversely affected. Many have taken salary cuts and lost jobs. Amid such a scenario, how can school authorities expect us to pay the increased fee?”

Neera M Singh, manager of the school, said, “In the previous academic year, the school was charging fees under two heads; one was monthly fee of ₹3,050 and another under the ‘other charges’ category, which the school charged twice a year, amounting to ₹20,000.”

“This academic year, on the parents’ request, we combined the two fee structures and added 10% hike, as per government norms. So, the new fee was ₹ 5,200. This was conveyed to parents much in advance.”

The manager said: “For the lockdown period, the school is charging last year’s fee of ₹ 3,050 and nothing else. The parents don’t understand that the school has only merged the fee structures and has not raised it much.”

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