The “Chhatr Abhibhavak Manch” (Students’ Parents Forum) in Himachal Pradesh has strongly condemned the silence of the state government on the arbitrariness and policy of looting followed by the private schools in the state. The forum has alleged that due to this silence of the state government and the education department, the arbitrariness of private schools is getting a ‘silent’ support, and despite the notification of the Directorate of Education on March 18, the schools continue to impose huge fees on students and guardians. The forum has announced that in the second phase of the movement, there will be a large siege outside the Directorate of Education on April 8.
Forum’s convenor Vijender Mehra has said that the forum is preparing in full swing to agitate against the arbitrariness, robbery and heavy fees on April 8, and hundreds of people will be joining them to protest outside the Directorate of Education on that day.
The platform will distribute approximately ten thousand pamphlets outside private schools till April 8, to educate students and guardians against the hefty and arbitrary fees levied by private schools. He said, “While there is a huge increase in fees by these schools, in the name of ID cards we are being heavily cheated as well. Besides, thousands of rupees are still being collected by making picnics compulsory instead of voluntary. Thousands of rupees are being bowled on the names of books and dresses too. The arbitrariness has increased so much that private schools are charging Rs. 45 to 80,000 as fees. The fees for students enrolled in the Eleventh standard from Tenth has increased almost two times. It is open loot and academic anarchy. It is very important to send a clear message to the private schools that this will not be tolerated at any cost. It is clear from their attitude that these schools do not care about the orders of government directives or the courts.”
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He has questioned the Principal Secretary- Education and Education Director, why the private schools are not complying with the instructions of the Directorate of Education which came on March 18. He also warned top officials of the Education Department to end this malpractice and provide justice to students and guardians.
The Forum is conducting protest demonstrations outside various private schools. The forum on Monday, April 1, protested against Saraswati Paradise International Public School Housing Board Colony, Sanjauli. Several members including Vijender Mehra, Phalma Chauhan, Ranjana Verma and Satyawan Pundir addressed the protestors. The speakers strongly condemned the silence of the state government on the arbitrariness and looting of private schools.
Convener of the forum Vijendra Mehra said that the private schools despite being private, are trying to mislead the people and parents by using “public school” in their names to polish their business.
“The duplication of these schools is amazing that in order to attract students and guardians in their school, these schools use public school terms instead of private. But when heavy fees are collected, they say that we are not schools of public or government, therefore we can not have any interference from the Government in terms of fees,” he said.
The forum has demanded from the state government that private schools should be stopped from using the word 'public school'. The arbitrariness has increased so much that Rs 260 is being charged in the name of ID card and school diary in the Saraswati Paradise School.
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