Ghaziabad parents agitate against DPC fee hike

Ghaziabad, April 21: Angry over steep fee hike by DPS, parents Monday defied orders prohibiting gathering of four or more people imposed by the district administration and staged a sit-in outside the dsistrict magistrate’s office here.

A tussle is going on between the Delhi Public School Ghaziabad (DPSG) management and the parents over the arbitrary increase in fees by the school management.

Additional district magistrate City) Raksh Pal Singh said: “A committee constituted by the district magistrate, comprising representatives of parents, school management and government officials, is working on modalities to reach an agreement. Till the panel reaches something conclusive, the hike has been put on hold and prohibitory orders enforced.”

The parents say the district administration seems helpless before the erring school that did not present its account books for inspection, as demanded by District Magistrate S.V.S. Ranga Rao.

They said the three branches of DPS Ghaziabad – Meerut Road, Vasundhara and Dasna – were allotted land at subsidised rates for providing free education to poor children.

However, the three schools flouted the norms with steep 40 percent fee hike. Following this, a junior class student’s annual budget stands at Rs.100,000, which parents find beyond their means.

The parents said they have no other option other than to protest to persuade the district administration to force the school administration to revert the fee hike.

Earlier, the district magistrate enforced the prohibitory orders under Section 188 of the CrPC outside the educational institutions while summoning the school account books that were, however, not submitted.

A local society, headed by retired bureaucrat Om Pathak, controls the three branches.

“Parents are thinking about filing a petition in the Allahabad High Court,” said Alok Arora, whose two sons study in DPS.

Earlier, over 100 parents gathered outside the Indirapuram branch of DPS Ghaziabad also and shouted slogans against the school management.

The parents brought along “gullaks” – clay piggy-banks – of the children and broke those open at the school gate. They claimed the school has sucked their entire savings, so they are forced to bring their children’s savings.

“Though implementation of the unprecedented fee hike is temporarily stayed, the school is continuing to charge penalty from parents who failed to deposit fees. Meanwhile, other schools like Ingraham and Saint Mary’s have also upped the tuition charges in the same proportion,” added Arora.

IANS