Gurgaon: Blue Bells parents worried as meeting on fee hike postponed
Parents voiced fresh concern over the alleged arbitrary fee hike by Blue Bells School, Sector 4, saying their worries have grown manifold since they received an email from the additional chief secretary (ACS), school education, Haryana, on Monday, informing them that the meeting on the issue that had been scheduled for November 3 has been postponed.
Although KK Khandelwal, the ACS, has asked the school authorities to extend the last date for fee submission for Quarter-3 to November 5, the parents are worried as the meeting has been pushed back till after the due date.
The parents claimed that this is the second time in the last ten days that their meeting with the ACS has been postponed. Earlier, the meeting had been scheduled for October 23, but was pushed back to November 3. Now, the meeting has been postponed to November 8.
Parents from several schools, who have been holding protests against alleged arbitrary fee hikes, met chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar during his first Janta Darbar in Gurgaon on October 8. It was at the public meeting that the CM had directed the ACS to meet the parents and resolve the issue.
The parents said they are ready to pay the fees, but not as per the revised structure as the school is demanding an increased amount.
“This is a serious matter. The meeting (with the ACS) has been postponed again and the third quarter is about to end. There’s no clarity on the last date for paying the fees. It seems the authorities are not taking this issue seriously,” Rajdeep Kaur, a parent, said.
The school authorities claimed that only a section of parents have not paid the fees under the revised structure and has been instigating others to do the same.
“We had received the order from the department not to demand revised fees, but we approached the Punjab and Haryana high court and obtained a stay on it. The court has asked us to collect fees along with the arrears and we have asked the parents to submit the same,” Suman Gulati, director, Blue Bells group of schools, said.
Though some of the parents have deposited the fees, they said they were disheartened after the ACS stayed Gurgaon divisional commissioner D Suresh’s directive to all schools to refund hiked fees.
Suresh, who is also the chairman of the Fee and Fund Regulatory Committee (FFRC), had in March directed city schools not to levy an advance fee and only charge the fee as per the heads mentioned in Form 6. But the schools allegedly sought fees in contravention of his order.
Sheopal Singh, another parent, said that although they are hopeful of getting justice from the education department, this prolonged wait is adding to their woes.
“We had planned to attend this meeting and now it has been postponed again. We would request the ACS to postpone the last date for fee submission till after the meeting as was done earlier,” Singh said.
Khandelwal couldn’t be reached for comments. His personal assistant said he was busy with preparations for Haryana Swarna Jayanti Celebrations and Khel Mahakumbh at Hisar on October 31.