Exactly how common was it for parents to form associations and demonstrate in front of their children’s school, protesting fee hikes, a decade ago? Looking back on our childhoods, many of us may find it difficult to imagine our parents being pushed to do something of the sort.
However, of the past few years, this has become commonplace in almost every big city, with school fees putting an increasing pressure on family budgets. Parents’ associations are springing up to keep a hawk eye on fee hikes, followed by frequent demonstrations, marches, petitions and expulsions.
We took a quick look around to see exactly what these hikes are like.
A couple of the old, established and reputable schools of South Mumbai seem to be having a free run — and there has not been much news about protests either — and have increased fees by 100 percent between the last and the current year. A similar hike in a couple of Mumbai’s suburban schools — although the actual fee is far less than that of the South Mumbai schools — has invited sharp protests from parents. The average trend seems to be a hike of between 35 percent and 50 percent.
In Bangalore, however, the hike seems to be far mellower. Among the top five schools of the city, the increase in fees this year was between 8 and 14 percent. Among the middle range of schools, some have increased their fees by about 8 percent, while the upper limit seems to be around 21
(Research: Nilofer D’Souza, Vijit Nanda)