GURGAON: A long battle of parents against Chiranjeev Bharti School in Gurgaon over developmental fee has ended into a pyrrhic victory of sorts for them as the school has been ordered to not to take the monthly development fee of Rs 1600. However, the bigger question of whether private schools can charge such a fee in a different manner continues to remain unaddressed.
Sanjeev Yadav, who led the fight against the private school in Palam Vihar, said that he was happy with the new order but will celebrate only once the development fee collected by the school in the past was returned to the parents.
We are happy that the school now can not charge developmental fee but what about the money that we have paid so far, said Yadav who mobilised the parents and collected signatures from 500 parents for the campaign. My three children study in this school and in past ten years I have paid over Rs 40,000 as developmental fee in addition to the other charges, he added.
On the basis of parents complaints, the issue was brought up in the public grievance committee meeting on November 16 where minister for Power Mahender Partap Singh ordered the school to stop charging the fee from the next academic session and adjust the charges taken this year proportionately into the fee in future. Earlier, the issue was probed by SDM Gurgaon (North) Satender Duhan who indicted the school on fee hike.
I am aware of the order given by the minister but the school management is yet to work out how to repay the developmental charges paid by the parents this year, said Rashi Narula, principal of the school.
Yadav claimed that the school authorities had no justifications for developmental fee. The school kept collecting money from thousands of students every year and no one objected to it. While in past the fee was Rs 500, school administration suddenly raised it to Rs 1600. People like me, whole have more than one children studying there cant afford to pay this money, he said.
But when asked about justification of developmental charges, she had something different to say: Every school charges such fee at the time of admission but in our school we charge it every year. Now on we will change the fee structure accordingly.
With school management still adamant on charging the fee, the tussle looks far from over. Parents can file complaints about any private schools asking for developmental charges and I will take appropriate action against the school, district education officer Jyoti Chaudhary said.