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Gurgaon: Parents protest fee hike by Blue Bells schools, demand rollback

A number of parents protested against the hike in annual development charges and increase in fee by the Blue Bells School in Sector 4, Gurgaon

gurgaon Updated: Jul 12, 2017 23:01 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
Parents protested against huge fee hike,Blue Bells Model School,Gurgaon
Parents of children studying in Blue Bells Model School in Sector 4 protest outside the school premises against development charges and increase in fee, on Wednesday.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Hundreds of aggrieved parents held a protest against the Blue Bells group of schools on Wednesday morning over the hike in annual development charge and school fee. They massed outside Blue Bells Model School, Sector 4 and demanded a rollback of the fee hike. They also claimed that the school hasn’t had an audit done despite tall claims by the authorities.

The parents alleged that Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma had formed an inquiry committee to look into the rising complaints of huge fee hike in schools across the state, but the move brought them no relief. They claimed the schools also did not conduct an audit of their fee structures.

Rajdeep Kaur, a parent protesting outside the school, said, “The school has declared funds worth crores in its Form 6, but it has still been hiking the fee every year. Again, despite being a non-profit trust, the school authorities are unwilling to conduct a transparent audit. This, when divisional commissioner, D Suresh, promised us a transparent audit.”

The parents have threatened to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President if the fee hike isn’t rolled back.

Sameer Nasa, another parent, said, “The school is demanding exorbitant fees, but the facilities in place are not adequate. The school doesn’t run its generator sets even when its hot and the power’s out. Children have to attend classes in stifling heat. Even with regard to sanitation and cleanliness, the school leaves a lot to be desired.”

Read more: Gurgaon: No relief for parents on fee hike despite protests and meetings with officials

The parents said though they are ready to pay the hiked fee, the school authorities should at least justify the fee revision. They said the fee revision should result in an improvement in the school’s infrastructure, sports facility and faculty.

Chhitra Nagpal, another protesting parent, said, “Why are the authorities not taking any action against the school for refusing to conduct an audit? Should the school be allowed to hike fees arbitrarily when adequate facilities are not being provided to the students?”

However, the school management denied hiking fees arbitrarily saying they have to revise the charges from time to time to fund development initiatives on campus.

“We held two meetings with the parents during which it was clearly conveyed to them that we will be fair to them. Holding protests and shouting slogans outside the campus won’t serve any purpose. Even our chairman held a meeting with them and they should have had the patience to speak to us instead to raising a hue and cry. Many of our development projects are in the pipeline and it will take some time to upgrade facilities. We feel it isn’t fair to protest (fee hike) without holding prior consultations with us,” Suman Gulati, director, Blue Bells group of schools, said.

She said the faculty was working hard towards academics and a lot of developments were taking place every year and for which fee revision is needed.

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 23:01 IST