Over 500 parents of students of Don Bosco primary school in M.K. B. Nagar in north Chennai on Saturday staged a gherao against the hike in annual school fee and other charges, including for books and computer classes.

Around 9 a.m., a large number of parents gathered in front of the school and raised slogans against the school after they were not allowed to meet the school correspondent. The parents demanded the withdrawal of the increase in school fee and for other services including despatch of SMS to parents by school authorities on homework, examinations dates and subjects and other important announcements. Parents complained that fee for computer classes and abacus learning had been doubled and made mandatory for all classes.

“We are ready to pay the government-stipulated fees for our children. But, the school has doubled the fee for this academic year. Collecting computer class fee from even class I students is unfair,” said P. Ravi, a parent.

However, school authorities said that the fee had been hiked after a gap of four years and justified it on the grounds of having to meet expenses such as teachers’ salary. The school that began operating in 1990 has a total of around 1,000 students and 32 teachers. “All issues including the fee hike will be discussed at the parents-teachers association meeting scheduled on Friday,” said school’s correspondent, B. Antony.