Parents of senior kindergarteners have locked horns with Shardhashram Vidyamandir School in Dadar West over a 40 per cent hike in fee this academic year.

Each senior kindergartener has to pay Rs 43,000. Last year, the fee was Rs 25,000.

The school claimed that the hike was forced by an imbalance in the student-teacher ratio. Each batch can have 90 students, but only 60 children are in senior kindergarten this year. To make up for charges from the 'missing' students, which go into paying the faculty's salaries, the school jacked up fees of all senior kindergarteners.

A furious parent said, "They should have increased the fees of all school students."

Mahesh Palkar, BMC's education officer, said pre-primary section doesn't come under any regulatory body. "We cannot take any action."

Akaram Patil, school trustee, justified the hike. "Earlier, we had 180 students. Now, we can't afford to pay the faculty with fewer students."