Parents protest at Jaipur schools over fee waiver issue

After staging a silent protest at the Central Park in Jaipur two days ago, hundreds of parents on Monday protested at certain renowned private schools here to demand full fees’ waiver from March 15 onwards.

They raised slogans of ‘No school, no fee’ and asked for fee waiver as no classes were held ever since the start of the new academic session due to the coronavirus lockdown, even as the state government is yet to announce further guidelines on the matter in continuation to the first one.

The Rajasthan government had earlier asked schools not to charge fees from students for three months, that is from March 15 to June 15, in view of the coronavirus outbreak. However, it has issued no other advisory till date.

As a result, the parents are being asked to pay the fee dues, in turn making them launch the ‘no school, no fee’ campaign in the state,

On Monday, agitated parents thronged different schools, including Modern, Seedling and Warren Academy, in violation of social distancing norms.

Dinesh Bharadwaj, a parent protesting at Warren Academy, told IANS that the distressed parents wanted to speak to the school management for a fee cut. Consequently, the management asked them to visit the campus at 11 am on Monday, but there was no one to talk to them. Instead, he claimed, the management sent a security guard who told them on school management’s behalf that the school will follow whatever the government will order.

“This left around 400 parents infuriated. They started raising slogans. Eventually, police was called. Police asked parents to disperse or else they will be booked under the Epidemic Act for flouting social distancing norms. The parents refused, but police officials later took a written complaint from them and assured of handing it over to the management.”

Sunil Yadav, All Rajasthan Private School Parents Forum President, told IANS: “Parents also staged protests at Modern School and Seedling Academy. Further, similar protests will be staged in other schools too, as we are not getting support from schools in this crisis.”

Meenu Goyal, a parent, said: “We have always cooperated with schools and paid whatever amount they had asked for. However, in such times of crisis, we are requesting schools to bear with us as we have earned nothing in the last three months. It’s sad that the schools are not listening.”

IANS tried to contact Warren Academy but none of its officials took the call.

School Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara was not available for comments as he was attending a meeting.

He had earlier said: “We will discuss the issue with the Chief Minister. The private schools have their own management and hence we need to figure out a solution in a holistic manner.”