Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Over 200 parents of students studying in St Norbert School staged protest in front of school at CAT Road here and urged the management to discuss the fee-related issues resulting in conflict on Wednesday. Parents had gathered organised under ‘Jago Palak Jago’ campaign run by Jagrit Palak Sangh.
Though the discussion was civilised and parents appreciated the school for being among few, which considered their plea and supported last year, the discussion took an ugly turn soon.
A parent Gaurav Chandak said, “In the mid of a civilised discussion, the school principal commented calling us beggars.” He added that it is with parent’s contribution and fee that school has been able to grow and make buildings.
“Calling names is never justified and coming from a school principal, who is responsible to build our future generations is disappointing and unexpected,” Chandak said.
The conflict rose to a point that police was called upon. Police asked parents to submit memorandum to register a complaint.
The issue for protest
The parents had met the management of the school to discuss the issues after staging the protest. During the meeting with school principal Father Michael John, parents expressed anguish and burden of fee in corona times.
“Coronavirus outbreak has affected all of us and limited our income, the after-effects still continue with downfall in income, making it difficult for most parents to pay school fee,” Chandak, a parent, said.
“Parents have been paying fee every year without delay, the school should consider this year, as it has been a tough year for everyone,” Sachin Maheshwari, a parent, said.
“Parents have contributed to founding of the school, as they pay for everything from education to school building charges. Hence, parents are eligible for concessions and understanding from school management in such difficult times,” Maheshwari, a parent, said.
“Schools play an essential role in the how we built a society and this is a time, when schools must set an example by understanding and supporting parents,” Ramakant Sharma, an activist from the association, said.
Cannot give 50% concession
“About 200 parents had come asking for fee concession. I said that on humanitarian grounds, we have decided to charge for this year (2021-22) also only the fee of two years ago, that is, 2019-20.
Moreover, we also provide fee concession to children who lost their parents, both or even one. Fee concession will be given on individual basis in providing the necessary supporting documents. They were demanding general 50% fee concession like last year. We are not in a position to provide it this year.”
Fr Michael John, Principal, St Norbert School