Parents of Gachibowli Oakridge International School protest fee collection

Parents of students studying in Oakridge International School, Gachibowli, held a protest on 27 November against collection of full fees for the academic year. About 60 parents from Oakridge International School

By Anusha Puppala  Published on  27 Nov 2020 3:47 PM GMT
Parents of Gachibowli Oakridge International School protest fee collection

Hyderabad: Parents of students studying in Oakridge International School, Gachibowli, held a protest on 27 November against collection of full fees for the academic year. About 60 parents from Oakridge International School submitted a petition signed by 600 parents to the school management The protesting parents alleged that the school is collecting the full fees despite conducting online classes.

The parents also alleged that many students were prevented from attending online classes when the parents failed to pay the full fees. The school had even put up barricades 100 feet from the school gate, the parents alleged. On Friday, they marched past the barricades despite being stopped by the school security.

After hours of protest and a heated discussion, the school management eventually agreed to restore online access to all the students by Saturday and assured to meet the parents on 2 December.

Srinivas Reddy, an Oakridge parent, said, "Why are schools charging full fees when the classes are online? Total online class hours are 30 per cent lesser than physical classes and there is also a huge reduction in infrastructure expenses like utilities, housekeeping, library, sports, upkeep of premises, and security. It is a proven fact that the quality of education via online classes is hardly 40-45 per cent due to various practical reasons. Do you think the entire staff is being paid 100 per cent salary for all these months? How can Oakridge demand parents for a copy of their bank statements? If valid, then can a parent also not expect bank statements from the school?"

He further added, "We challenge the school to open their accounts and invite a fair third-party audit. How can you use the term 'Oakridge family' when you are not even ready to sit and discuss our financial crisis for the past six months? Instead, you threatened and even 'illegally' blocked several students from online classes but conveniently blamed it on coincidence and technical snags. Are we fools to accept such lame excuses? We are getting four to five SMSs, two-three emails and at least two phone calls from the school every week. This is harassment at a time of crisis."

Mukesh Kumar, another parent, said, "Next time any parent wants to admit their kids in Oakridge, they will be frightened to do so because it costs almost Rs. 4-5 Lakh per year. During this pandemic, the school management is making us stand here and beg. This is what Oakridge is all about".

Another parent said, "Three of my kids study here and when I asked the school for a fee reduction this year, they asked us to submit our bank statements. When we asked for their accounts, they simply ignored us."

Another parent whose son is studying in Class IX in Oakridge said, "I and my entire family were affected by COVID-19. I received a call from the school's accounts department and when I told them about our situation, they said sorry and simply asked me to pay the fees. Within two weeks they called again for the fees. I don't understand what concerns they have about their students."


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