The forum of parents have been protesting for three months to demand that the minister hold a meeting with them and help ease their situation.

People holding broomsticks standing on a roadKarnataka Private School Parent Organisation Coordinating Committee/ Facebook
news PROTEST Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 16:03

In light of several private schools charging the full academic year’s fees amid the pandemic in Karnataka, parents have been expressing their frustration over the fact that their demands are not taken into consideration. In an attempt to get the attention of state Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, the Karnataka Private School Parent Organisation Coordinating Committee took to sweeping the street in front of his residence in Bengaluru’s Basaveshwarnagar on Thursday. The parents had a memorandum that they had planned to present to the minister, however, he did not appear in front of them. During the demonstration, some parents were detained and taken to the Byadarahalli police station.

The parents have demanded that schools reduce the fees in the backdrop of the pandemic, as several of them face financial difficulty, added to the fact that there were no physical classes held. They said that the Education Minister has called several meetings with private school managements but not the parents. Their demands also included that the minister call a meeting to listen to the parents, and take decisions that ease their situation.  

The recent demonstration comes after protests by the organisation on several occasions over the past three months. The protests started when, allegedly, several schools demanded payment of the entire fee amount and failure to do so resulted in children being blocked out of online classes.

“In the period of crisis the schools cannot be immune to the financial meltdown and collect the entire fees. The schools want to collect the entire fees now though the government has clearly prohibited them from doing so… Also, this year they have removed several staff or have given them a reduced salary. Now this is basically robbing the parents and teachers to fill their own coffers… we started protesting when the schools illegally asked us to pay the entire fee and when we couldn't, our children were blocked from online classes. Our demand is not that we won't pay but all we ask is for them to be fair,” said Mohamed Shakeel, a parent.

The parents have further threatened that they perform a hunger strike if the minister doesn't respond to them.

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