Guardians protest against fee hike outside school in Santragachhi
Kolkata: Hundreds of guardians staged a demonstration outside an English medium school at Santragachhi on Tuesday morning to protest against the school authorities' decision to hike fees.
The incident had not only triggered tension in the area but also disrupted the normal functioning of the school.
The guardians alleged that the private school authorities were increasing the fees arbitrarily without stressing on the infrastructural issues.
A huge contingent of police rushed to the spot immediately after the incident. The guardians also alleged that they were not consulted by the school authorities before increasing the fees.
According to police, they started the demonstration at around 7.30 am outside the school campus. They alleged that the fees have been hiked up to Rs 9,000 from Rs 4,000.
They also alleged that the school receive a huge amount of money as development fees from the students but the class rooms, toilets have been lying in a bad shape.
Even there was no arrangement for purified drinking water for the children in the school. The children are made to stand in the sun while having their food during the tiffin period.
Some of the guardians also threatened to continue the protest demonstration on the school campus if the authorities do not revoke their decision. The agitating guardians have alleged that the school authorities hiked the annual school fees under various heads.
It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a meeting with the private school authorities had instructed them not to increase the fees in a manner that it becomes a burden on the parents.
Despite the Chief Minister's instruction, the school had increased the annual fee structure by a huge margin, alleged the guardians.
It may be here mentioned that the state government will soon come out with a legislation to keep an eye on fee hike by the private schools in the city.
The School Education department has already prepared a draft in this regard and is now seeking an opinion from experts.
It was learnt that the legislation will come into effect after the Panchayat elections.
It is learnt that a Committee will be formed which will function in the same manner as the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission.
All schools in the state, regardless of board affiliations, will come under the oversight of this committee, which will be formed with representatives from schools as well as the state government.