The ongoing tussle between the authorities of New Horizon Scholars School in Airoli and parents of its students over hike in bus fees and tuition fees shows no sign of abating. As reported earlier by MiD DAY, the school has hiked the bus fees by 25 per cent without intimating the parents. The school also reportedly refused to ferry those children whose parents did not pay the hiked fees (‘Parents miffed as kids are ‘banned’ from school bus,’ April 3). The same was also done with the tuition fees, which were hiked without consultation with parents.
Meetings conducted since January to resolve the conflict regarding the fees proved inconclusive. The latest meeting that was held on April 20 also proved futile. A parent, on condition of anonymity, said, “At the meeting on April 20, the school management agreed to form a parent- teacher association (PTA), as had been demanded by the parents. They have given us word that the PTA will be formed by the second week of June. However, there is still no clarity on the issue of fees. All we want is the justification for the hike, and assurance that children will not be humiliated.”
Another parent, whose child has been studying in the school for two years, said, “We need transparency from the school management. They need to maintain a policy of openness with the parents and intimate them about fee hikes. The justification that they have hiked the fees due to infrastructural expenditure and inflation is not at all convincing, as there haven’t been any changes in the infrastructure and neither have the nearby schools hiked fees to such an extent. All this has created a fear in the children’s minds. If this continues, I may even contemplate changing schools, though that again is a daunting task.”
Principal of the school Dr Jyoti Nair said, “We have already formed PTAs till Std VI, and the remaining would be formed on April 30. The issue of fee hike will be discussed during the first PTA meeting, which is expected to be held in the month of June, when the school re-opens. Till then, we are not going to put pressure on the parents to pay the fees.” Once the PTA is formed, members for the school bus committee are also expected to be selected from the same.