Harassed parents threaten to make school fee hike poll issue

April 9th, 2009 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Hike in school fees and then in development and activities fee in many Delhi schools has become a major cause of concern to many parents. Tired of the financial and mental stress this has put on them, the Delhi Parents Council has now threatened to make it an election issue if the government does not take up the matter immediately.
Praveen Khandelwal, president of the Delhi Parents Council, said Thursday that despite the “mindless” increase in school fees, the Delhi government has maintained a silence, which in turn is now agitating parents.

“Through a Right to Information (RTI) application, we found that the total education cess collected from Delhi has been enormous. In 2006-07, it was more than Rs.418 crore, between 2007-08 it was Rs.377 crore, and until January 2009, the cess collected was Rs.286 crore,” Khandelwal said.

“Therefore, instead of burdening parents with hefty fee, the government should compensate the private schools by providing financial support out of education cess, which is kept unutilised in the Prathamik Shiksha Kosh (primary education fund) established in 2005,” he added.

Khandelwal also said that the onus of meeting the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in terms of salary hikes of teaches has put an additional burden on parents.

“We, therefore, demand that the Delhi government should form a joint committee of officials and representatives of schools and parent bodies, and the union government should provide financial assistance to schools from the education cess collected.”

“The government should remember that people will vote for a party that looks after their needs and if need be, we will not hesitate in making this an election issue,” he said.

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