Parents Refuse to Pay ‘Hiked’ Fee, Mumbai School Issues Leaving Certificates to Students

A total of 28 students of Kharghar’s Vishwajyot High School have been emailed leaving certificates citing non-payment of fees as the reason. On Wednesday some of the parents who are opposing the school management’s diktat of fee hike were called in for a meeting. The meeting was called after the parents had filed a police complaint and also reached out to the education department for help. Parents allege the fee hike is in violation of the rules and the management refuses to meet them to resolve the issue amicably.

The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) opposed the school’s proposed fee hike of 30 per cent in 2018. The parents alleged that the educational institutions had taken Rs 11 crore bank loan for infrastructure development, and wants to pass on the burden to students. In spite of opposition, the school has been gradually increasing the fee year after year even during the covid times, allege parents.

“From last two years they have been increasing the fee from 15 per cent to 21 per cent and again 15 per cent – since last three years fee is increased by 51 per cent. We are not refusing to pay, we paid 70 per cent of the fee. We have only objected to the hiked part. We are saying let’s sit and resolve this …. Another drastic measure taken this year is they have issued leaving certificates to 28 students and mentioned non-payment of fee in it – how will we get admission for them with such a mention” said Sujit Soman, parent of a class 5 student.

Priya Kalyani Mana whose child received a leaving certificate states, “during the COVID-19 pandemic people are fighting for waiving of cost, we are just saying remove the hiked part from the fee structure … we been told in today’s communication that GC and Google classes will be reinstated – let’s hope things get fine”.

Abhishek Mankame, a father of a class 7 student says “those who have not paid the hiked fee, they have got three reminders on parents email. When we tried to reason with schools they said hike decision is already made, and then suddenly they sent leaving certificates to children’s email id – these are unfair emotional tactics that they are playing”

A student studying in class 4 of the school would pay Rs 63,696 with the old fee structure, but with a steady rise over the years, parents are asked to shell out Rs 96,321 in academic year 21-22 – a hike of 15 per cent in a year when covid is still impacting lives and livelihood in equal measure.

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