Gurgaon school agrees to roll back fee hike after parents protest
Hundreds of parents whose children attend the Salwan Public School protested against a mid-year fee hike at the district education office on Monday morning. Parents demanded the district education officer put in place a mechanism to ensure that private schools do not ‘unjustifiably’ hike their fees.
The parents who assembled at the Mini Secretariat, said a regulator such as an elected parents’ association, should be made mandatory in each school so that the managements are not allowed to increase the fees without seeking permission from the parents.
“The school already has surplus funds from previous years; the data on the school website showed a balance of Rs 6 crore and after objection to the fee hike, it has updated to zero. As per CBSE guidelines, any affiliated school can’t implement a mid-term fee hike but the school is asking for a hike of Rs 6,700 in the name of the Seventh Pay Commission. No other school in NCR has gone for such a hike. The Delhi government is very proactive in auditing school accounts and controlling fee hike; we would request the Haryana government to help us in this matter,” said Amit Ghai of Sector 15 said.
The problem, however, was resolved after the district education officer visited the school. The education authorities said they held a meeting in the school to find a solution.
“We went to the school and organised a meeting for parents and school authorities. The matter has been resolved and the school authorities have ensured to roll back the fee hike,” Neelam Bhandari, district education officer, said.
“The matter was amicably resolved between the school and parents,” Sandhya Awasthi, principal SalwanPublic School, Sector 15, said.
Rajkumar Yadav of Sector 10A said if any parents have already deposited the fee, the school authorities have agreed to refund 5% in this quarter and 9% in the next quarter which will fall in the next academic year.
Parents emphasised on the need to crackdown on schools that ignore clauses 158 to 160 of the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003, which govern fees and funds in unaided schools. The rules state that schools must attribute fee hike to additional expenses and explain the same in writing by filing Form 6A with the administration three months prior to the commencement of a new academic session.
Parents said the administration is supposed to audit 5% of all schools every year, as per a high court order. “But this never happens. At least the fee and fund regulatory committee has now ordered an audit after we submitted the complaint,” another parent said.
“It is unjustified that the school is asking for a fee hike of around 20% and on top of that, the school is demanding arrears from Jan 2016. Increasing fee during mid-term is not allowed as per CBSE by-laws. It is surprising that there is no fee hike in their other branch in Delhi,” Dinesh Kharb of Sector 11 said.