As offline classes resume, hike in school transportation charges burdens parents

New Delhi: The resumption of offline classes is burning a hole in the pocket of parents of schoolgoing children, courtesy a significant hike in transportation charges, which several Delhi-NCR schools have raised by up to 30 per cent.
While parents said that schools consider it an extra source of income, some principal said they can’t help it as “the diesel prices have gone up exorbitantly”. Delhi Parents Association (DPA) President Aprajita Gautam said many schools are increasing transport charges to double or triple of what they are supposed to “as they are considering it a source of extra income”.
“Now, instead of opting for this unaffordable option parents are using other alternatives like car pooling or private cabs, as transportation fees are adding financial burden to the already suffering middle class,” she said.
Several parents claimed that schools were not charging any transportation fees when classes moved online in view of the pandemic, but now when offline classes have resumed, the charges are much higher than the pre-lockdown rates.
“The schools are citing that the transportation costs have gone up and they are helpless but what can parents do. My wife is also working so we cannot drop and pick children ourselves and school transport is the safest option but it’s a high cost now,” said Rudra Dutt.
He, however, refused to divulge the school name his two children go to.
Rishu Dhingra, another parent in Gurgaon, said, “Schools have increased transportation costs as have private transporters. What choice do parents have? Also, schools have not increased the tuition fees in the past two, years and they will do that too now.”
The principal of a top private school said on the condition of anonymity that “diesel prices have gone up exorbitantly and we have had several rounds of negotiations with the transporters who have refused to match the earlier prices”. —PTI


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