COVID-19 followed by the lockdown has not only increased the problems for almost all people but has also a setback for many as they have lost their jobs. In this regard, there is a problem with the educational front also. Schools are forcing guardians to pay the full fees of their wards. Frustrated with the continuous harassment and calls from the educational institute, parents protest against the schools with ‘No School No Fees’ slogan and demanded the government to take action against these schools.
Parents are concerned about the education of their children. “Schools are not giving links or remove students from WhatsApp group due to non-payment of fees. Despite GR, schools are barring students from online classes. They are not properly behaving with the parents if we go to school for discussion,” said one of the parents.
“We agree to pay 50 per cent of tuition fees. However, schools should waive off miscellaneous fees and term fees. We understand that you have to pay the teaching and non-teaching staff, that’s why we are ready to pay 50 per cent of the tuition fees. Nevertheless, school force parents to pay full fees or take the leaving certificate,” said one of the parents.
Schools are charging extra fees with the parents. This is increasing more resentment among parents. “Blatantly, the school administration and officials have violated the guidelines issued by the state government and the municipal corporation. That’s why parents marched in protest from Maxus Mall to the Subhash Chandra Bose Stadium in Bhayandar (West). They agitated there for two hours,” said Sadique Basha, Convenor, Haq Hai.
The protest was organized by the Haq Hai organisation in association with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Swaraj India and the CPI (M) along with hundreds of parents. “We made special reference to the GR issued by the Municipal Corporation to the schools regarding the fees, which has ordered not to increase the fees this time and to reduce the tuition fees by 50%. Secondly, due to online education, the infrastructure of the school is not being in use, which is also saving money for the schools. That is why the school administration should give more concessions to the students,” said Sukhdev Banbanci, Convenor, AAP.
Delegation met commissioner
During the protest, a five-member delegation met MBMC Commissioner Dr Vijay Rathor. They handed over a four-point memorandum to him. They asked the commissioner to take action against the culprit private school administration.
Municipal Commissioner Vijay Rathod asked for one week time for the matter. “We will call a school management meeting within a week. We will ask them to follow the circular of the corporation. Otherwise, strict action will be taken against them,” said the commissioner.
“Till date, we are co-operating with the police and the administration. However, we are giving fortnight for the MBMC to take action. If our demands not fulfilled and action on private schools will not be taken then we will be in the commissioner’s office without intimation,” warned Basha.
Earlier, the march was scheduled from Maxus Mall to MBMC headquarters. However, at the end moment, Bhayandar Police diverted the morcha to the Subhash Chandra Bose Stadium. Parents marched with the slogan ‘No School No Fees’.