Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-04-16 20:20 Bengaluru: The blackmail schools indulge in to fleece helpless parents was in evidence in its worst form at Whitefield Global School, with parents complaining that the fees had been hiked steeply and arbitrarily, with neither notice, nor justification. With no regulation or government control over fee structure in private schools, parents admitting their children to private schools in the hope of quality education, are caught in a trap. Once the their child or children or admitted to the school, the parents have no choice, but to swallow any arbitrary action the school takes. If the school has ‘international’ or ‘global’ in its name, the fees jump cosmically. That is precisely what has happened in Whitefield Global in recent days. Parents today demonstrated in the school campus protesting against the hike in fees, and the school administration officials were not only rude with the parents, but also asked them to get out of the school premises. “Three years ago, the school charged Rs 45000 for UKG children and now they have increased upto Rs 75,000,” one of the protesting parent said. “We are also charged Rs 28000 as a transport fee. They also charge Rs 4500 for books and stationary which are of lower quality. We get a bill for Rs 2500 only and the rest of the money is not shown in the bill. We are also asked to buy uniform from a particular shop who also charges us extra price and the quality of uniform is not good as it gets torn within a period of few months,” the parent said. “When we approached the management seeking to justify these issues, they said we are ‘unauthorised’ parents and have no right to question them. Apparently, there is parent-teacher committee of whose existence we were unaware of. And the committee has people belonging to the management,” said a parent. Another parent said that theirs was a peaceful protest. “Our agenda is a peaceful protest. We want to resolve this issue peacefully by having a discussion. We were not given prior notice about the hike in school fee. It is not only about the hike in school academic fee but also about some grievances like quality of education, uniform, books etc. We met the director of school last week and she had asked us to come with a list of grievances and today when we went in the school, the management authorities did not allow us,” a parent said. When Bfirst.in tried reaching the Whitefield Global School Authorities were not available for comment. In the review column of the website of the school, one of the parents complained that after his child was admitted, within five days, the school asked them to withdraw the child. The parent did so, but was shocked to find that the admission fee was non-refundable and would go to the Chalasani Trust which ran the school. To rub salt into the wounds, the parent complained, although his child attended the school for just five days, a month’s fees were deducted. But, it is not Whitefield Global alone. It is the case in 90 per cent of private schools, which are more of an industry than educational institutions. It is time that they are regulated. If virtually all commercial activity is regulated, why not this activity, which is more commercial than most?