Bengaluru: Parents on warpath against high fees in private schools

Bengaluru: With private schools charging exorbitant fee and the government doing little to curb the practice, parents in the city are organizing themselves and using the social media to highlight the menace and organize street protests.

“The fee hike for this year has gone totally out of control with many schools increasing it by Rs1 lakh,” said A.B. Suresh, associated with the Karnataka School Parents’ Association spearheading the campaign.

He added that the fee hike has gone from the legal 10% slab to an alarming 120% at most of the private schools over the last four years.  Last week, the fee structure of two renowned schools in the city was making rounds in social media, which left many appalled.

As per the screenshots circulated on social media, the fee for LKG students was over Rs2 lakh, and many termed it as ‘legalised loot’ by the school. “This is not the case with one or two schools, but at least ten in the city,” Suresh pointed out. 

Mrinal A, a techie and a father of two said this has happened majorly due to the government’s negligence. “With the government least concerned about the issue, private schools are being run like business establishments with those having more political influence, increasing and demanding fees like a kite without strings,” he said.

Upholding the fact that education is a fundamental right, these parents are also collecting fee receipts of private schools online and have decided to submit the collated material to file a complaint at the District-level Education Regulating Authority (DERA).

On condition of anonymity, another parent from a private school in Hebbal said that the school had recommended to buy I-pads for all students starting from class three as part of making education ‘tech-savvy and progressive.’ 

“The school has included this as a mandatory requirement stating that the cost can be remitted in due installments over the year,” the parent said. The Association through numerous Facebook and WhatsApp groups are now building on evidences and numbers to organise a street protest in the city before the next academic year begins.

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