Irked with fee hike, ISM parents plan mass petition

Annoyed with a fee hike for kindergarten children at the Indian School Muscat (ISM), parents plan to submit a mass petition to the School Management Committee (SMC) seeking its withdrawal.
Many parents were taken aback to find the quarterly fee had been increased by RO 18 (RO 6 per month).
“I was shocked to find an RO 18 increase in the existing fees. When asked, the counter staff were clueless. They checked with the school office, which said the fee increase was for the KG students,” said Aji, a father of three.
“I have paid more fees for my five-year-old son than his sister, who is in second standard.”
“The hike decision, not supported by any reason, cannot be accepted. We have registered our strong protest with the School Management Committee (SMC) which said it would seriously look into the matter,” said another parent.
Parents were asked to pay RO 118.500 as tuition fees, including a hike of RO 18, as against RO 100.500 earlier. Along with a computer fee of RO 6, term fee of RO 10 and some special fees, parents must pay RO 145.500 as total fees for a child for three months.
The fee hike, termed ‘unfounded’ by parents, has upset parents, some of whom have faced cuts in salary and perks.
“Some parents have had their perks cut as part of a cost-cutting exercise in their organisations, while others are facing similar issues at work. The sudden fee hike by the school is highly deplorable,” he said.
“We will submit mass petitions to other agencies concerned, including the Indian Embassy and the Ministry of Education.”
Parents had in April this year submitted a memorandum to the SMC president seeking uploading of the minutes of SMC meetings on the school website, besides higher transparency in the school administration and fund management.
It had also demanded an open forum to discuss the report submitted by a specially created Parents’ Committees.

Kabeer Yousuf