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Parents protest school fee hike, ride bulldozer

Parents protest school fee hike, ride bulldozer

May 2, 2022

Scores of parents in Greater Noida (West) on Sunday stood on an earthmover to protest against the “arbitrary” fee hike in fees by private schools and demanded the Uttar Pradesh government-run its “bulldozer” on “education mafia”.

In a symbolic move, they hired a bulldozer and staged a protest along with the machine at Ek Murti Chowk in the city on Sunday.

The parents also decried schools levying huge amounts as transportation charges and prescribing books from private publishers instead of the more affordable NCERT books as they gathered for the protest in Greater Noida (West), also known as Noida Extension.

On April 17 also these protestors, under the banner of the NCR Guardians’ Association and the Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA), had carried out a demonstration wherein they had taken to symbolic “boot polishing” on a roadside.

The protests against an Uttar Pradesh government order last month allowing private schools to hike fees come at a time when the state’s “bulldozer campaign” against encroachment and anti-social elements has been in limelight.

NEFOWA President Abhishek Kumar said that it was a symbolic protest against the monopoly of the school administration. We wanted the UP government to intervene on the matter just as it does against land mafias using bulldozers. After the symbolic ‘boot polish’ protest two weeks ago over the increase in school fees, the protestors had submitted a memorandum to the Gautam Buddh Nagar district magistrate which was supposed to be sent to chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

But till now there has been no reply to it. The parents are already troubled by the impact of inflation and they will continue the agitation till the government withdraws the fee hike order, Kumar said.

Jyoti Jaiswal, another parent, claimed schools are charging transport expenses at-will along with the fee hikes. She also raised concern over the fitness of vehicles, citing the recent example of a student’s death in adjoining Ghaziabad while onboard a school bus.

The absence of fitness certificates of school transport and the school transport committee being only on paper is a matter of great concern, the mother of two school students said, as several other women protestors highlighted how inflation and the cost of fuel have hit their domestic budget.

Sukhpal Singh Toor, President of the NCR Parents Association, said the increase in school fees was done on the logic of the ending of the pandemic but the cases of infection are once again on the rise.

Schools are again closing for offline education. Parents are still emerging from the financial crisis. In such a situation, the fee hike should be reversed and there should be a cap on the transport charges, Toor said.

Also Read:Noida: Parents protest school fee hike with boot polish

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