After getting no respite on the fee hike issue, Gurgaon parents have now tried to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat. More than 600 complaints over the “unjustified fee hike” have already been sent to the PM through the Mann Ki Baat route.
Students too have sent their recorded voice messages and videos requesting the PM to provide some respite to their parents by ensuring a rollback of the fee hike. Different groups of parents are spreading their message across the city and asking more parents to come under one umbrella in a show of strength.
A number of parents and students met at Leisure Valley on Sunday morning for three hours and discussed how to rally more aggrieved parents to their cause.
“We are meeting every weekend to discuss the next step and involve parents from different fields to get a better understanding of the hierarchy in the education system. We couldn’t think of a better way to make the government listen to our voices than to reach the PM through his monthly radio address,” Anjana Singh, a parent, said.
“Many parents are still unaware of the protests and the meetings being held on the issue at different places. We are spreading awareness among the parents and requesting them to join us. Instead of holding meetings and protests, we now want to come together and hold discussions on a strategy to take this movement forward,” said Ramkesh Jangra, also a parent.
Despite several protests and meetings with the officials, there has been little or no assurance of respite to the aggrieved parents and they haven’t made much progress in putting pressure on the government and schools to roll back the fee hike.
Parents said they have been running from pillar to post to ensure that the schools don’t fleece them in the name of providing better infrastructure for their children, but their effort, so far, has come to nought.
“We only got an assurance in the matter from government officials. However, the school authorities are simply not bothered by our plight and continue to hold their ground,” Anoop Singhal, an aggrieved parent, said.
Another parent, Sarfaraz Khan, said, “We have been holding protests for the last one month. We can’t get back to our jobs as we don’t want our movement to lose momentum. We want this issue resolved at the earliest. This is a critical issue as we are being treated as ATMs by these schools. We are being exploited.”
Despite holding protests at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar and submitting a memorandum to the Haryana government, they are yet to get the desired result, the parents claimed.
The continued protests over the fee hike issue are starting to affect the students as well as they are not able to focus on their studies at home or school.
Parents from 40 private schools in the city, including DPSG, Ryan International School, Salwan Public School, Shalom Hills, Presidium, Blue Bells Model School, GD Goenka, Shiv Nadar and The Heritage, have already held multiple protests without getting the desired results.
Apart from demanding a rollback of the fee hike, the parents said they also want the schools to comply with the norms laid down by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), ensure more transparency in the audit process and focus more on parent-teacher associations and safety of students on campus.
Divisional commissioner D Suresh has directed the schools not to charge advance fee and collect only monthly fee as per the Form 6.