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Shut threat to school over fee

Siliguri, Jan. 10: Guardians of the Siliguri Hindi High School (Boys) have threatened to shut down the institution from tomorrow if the fee hiked for the 2014-2015 academic session is not reduced.

According to members of the Guardians’ Forum of North Bengal, the school has been increasing the fee every year on the pretext of a “bogus minority status”.

For the current academic session that began a few days back, fee for old students was increased from Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,900. For new students admitted to the school this year, the annual fee has been increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 5,525.

“The school is a government-aided institution and receives grants from the state. So, it should charge Rs 240 per year as fee from students as has been stipulated by the government. However, the school authorities claim that the institution has got a minority status and hence, the management has the right to raise the fees. But the fact is that neither the state nor the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions has awarded it a minority status,” Sandipan Bhattacharjee, the president of the forum, said today.

The school has 1,400 students from Class VI to Class XII.

The parents said they had approached the school management several times in the past week but got no response.

“Today again, we went to the school to hold talks with the authorities, but nobody holding responsible posts turned up. If the same situation persists tomorrow, we will not allow classes to be held in the school,” said Bobby Gupta, the guardian of a student.

Avinash Chandra, the teacher-in-charge of the school, said, the fees wouldn’t be reduced. “We have the power to hike the fees because ours is a minority institution. The fee for old and newly admitted students is a consolidated amount that includes tuition fee, computer fee and infrastructure development fee. The school has taken the decision of the hike and it will not be slashed,” said Chandra.

P.T. Sherpa, the additional district magistrate of Siliguri, said he had asked Sanjib Ghosh, the district inspector of school’s (higher secondary), to inquire into the matter.