Pardeep Luthra/Tarlok Bagga
BATALA: Perturbed over the alleged laxity of the administration to take action against the managements of private schools into the arbitrary fee hike, parents along with members of Nishkam Sewa Society ,a NGO, today hold a massive protest here at Gandhi Chowk.
The parents alleged that though they had given many written complaints against the ‘loot’ by the managements of the private school to the local administration but nothing substantial has been so far.
It is to be noted that the state government had constituted fee regulatory bodies at divisional level to put a check on the private school. As the directions of the body, the management of the private school can not exceed the fee more than eight percent than the previous year but flouting all the norms, most of the schools were increasing the fee arbitrary.
Raising slogans against the local administration and private school managements, the protests took out a march and later gave a dharna infront of SDM office.
In this regard, NGO member, Geeta Sharma told that despite orders of the state government, the managements of all the private school were charging excess tuition fee and bus charges even during holidays while building fund and annual charges were also charged every year. She alleged that parents were compelled to purchase uniforms and books
from a shops prescribed by the school.
“There are many parents among us who were compelled by the school managements to purchase books and uniform from a particular shop” alleged Geeta.
She told that about one month back, when the school managements asked them for readmission charges and other charges, their society had made a complaint with SDM, Batala Prithi Singh, who asked them to made a written compliant following which, they also made a written complaint with the SDM but even after passing of more than one month, no action has been made on their complaint.
Blaming SDM Batala and DEO Gurdaspur for having hand in glove with the private school managements, the protesters alleged that inspite of taking action against the school managements both these officers were compelling
them for remain mum.
They warned that if the administration did not take action on their complaint within two days, they will start indefinite hunger strike infront of SDM office.
When contacted SDM, Batala, Prithi Singh, he told that about 10 days back, he got a complaint in this regard and subsequently he forwarded that complaint to deputy commissioner for further action. He told that the state government had constituted fee regulatory committee, which will inquire into the complaints and later take action.