Published: 28th September 2020
#NoSchoolNoFee: Why parents of school students boycotted online classes and called for a Bharat Bandh
Since the beginning of Monday, parents have been tweeting with #NoSchoolNoFee and #WaiveOffSchoolFees. Parents tell us why
A number of students across the country boycotted online classes on Monday, in solidarity with the Bharat Bandh called by 50 parent associations. The protesting parents are demanding that the schools do not hike the fees and adjust the fees considering that there are no physical classes are held.
They are also demanding the setting up of a regulatory body to decide the fees. "At the same time, we are advocating for these schools to pay their teachers," says Sukhpal Singh Toor, founder, NCR Parents' Association. "We know how they desperately need this money. A lot of us are teachers too," he says. There are 13,657 private CBSE schools in India.
Since the beginning of the day, parents have been tweeting with #NoSchoolNoFee and #WaiveOffSchoolFees. The parents also stated that since the beginning of the pandemic and the lockdown, their incomes have also come down and hiked school fees are something that they cannot afford at this point.
"Dialogues and deliberations with the school authorities yielded no result," says Pradeep Rawat from Gugugram Parents' Association. "Today's boycott was to let the schools know that if we are to make a choice between food and education, we will go for the former. The priority is always roti, kapda, makkaan (food, clothes, shelter)," he adds. He says that almost 70 per cent of the students and parents took part in the strike. "We had allowed leeway to the parents, whose students had an exam today," added Pradeep,
Both Sukhpal and Pradeep say that there has been no acknowledgment from the schools' sides. "They are trying to downplay it and aren't accepting our demand," says Sukhpal. "The school authorities have been telling us that enough students turned up. But we know the ground reality here. They will say that all is fine," says Pradeep.