Dear Bala and others,
Pl confirm whether we are meeting the Principal and the Mgmt on sat at 10 AM or not?
Any outcome of today's meeting between 5 parents and mgmt?
Pl confirm urgently
[Update from the Editorial Team, 16/03/2008:
Kudos to ParentsGroup and the few others, for their good effort and for taking the first step forward! We did not (and should not) expect GIF to reverse the hike very easily. So, the outcome we have now (no change) was to be expected. But this 'failure' is but the first step to victory.
Your victory is in what you had achieved, in asking questions and getting back answers and recording and sharing back with the other parents in true community spirit. You have set an example through your actions. This, when all parents are in the dark about what agreement PSG had made with KB on Friday (We are still hopeful that PSG would come back and inform parents, but that is another matter). The story has only begun, as other small groups will now be encouraged to find out more and ask even better questions, record their interactions for the benefit of the others, and eventually unravel the secrets.
This is also a bit like little Davids fighting the big Goliath, and we cannot expect victory in a day.
But it is very good that your meeting did not end up as a shouting match (as had happened in previous years with certain parents. It is easy to lose your calm when faced with the cold and unmoving position of the supposedly charitable management). In fact, driving some parents away from QT is a commercially rewarding strategy for GIF. The non-refundable money accumulates and frees up a seat to trap the next victim waiting in line.
This team does not believe that uninformed mobs shouting at the gates can produce the desired results.
Our approach is to put together the data, before we seek intervention. We still don't have all the datawe need. We urgently need more parents supporting the data collection. We would like to tell you that only a few weeks ago, the blogging parents were seriously thinking of shutting down the blog, due to lack of volunteer help. Imagine what you would have, had we quit by the time the fee hike announcement hit home ! Fee hike is the top concern currently, but that is not the be-all and end-all for this blog. We are still short of volunteer help !
At the same time, we support and encourage efforts by parents like ParentsGroup who came forward to bring up the fee hike with KB. We wish more parents could physically be there to support ParentsGroup & co, but then, what you saw is what you get in an Indian school ! The core bloggers do not want to come under pressure from GIIS/GIF and have to shut down the blog, so they are naturally being more careful and not giving away too much at this early stage.
The questions you asked were good (could have been better), and KB's answers revealing. We know with fair certainty that even a 50-60% lease hike, if true, would only reduce the profit margin by a certain bit. Since you did not manage to elicit the campus-wise lease figures (old and new), we don't know what the stated "50-60% increase" really refers to. We suspect that there would be some 50 - 60% increase somewhere, otherwise KB could not have given out that number (we are talking of shades of truth here). GIIS has gone from two campuses to three. This itself could be the meaning of the 50% increase ! Recall that we had demanded in Nov 2007 that the cost of the 3rd campus should not be dumped on parents. If a parent volunteer can contact SLA to ascertain the facts, that would be a good start. We would think that a 50% raise in lease of a campus would have made it to the newspapers ! In all likelihood, this could be the cost escalation resulting from the expansion, and as expansions continue beyond Balestier, to Vietnam, Australia, Africa, the Americas and elsewhere, it is very important that we get more data and be prepared for what is coming.
There is some new information from 'Mathematician' on the T&G 'model'. One parent had mentioned that T&G transaction data can be obtained. That would be very valuable, and our number crunchers are standing by. So, please get it !
An 'Anonymous' commentator has advocated mass petition. We encourage and support that. Please get yourself a GMail ID, get your friends together, join some group or blog, write a draft petition and share it somewhere, either here, or with the already formed GoogleGroup. But, please take some action, and do not just wait for the blogging parents (or someone else) to take initiative. We can certainly help with drafting the petitions and will sign too. If there are 5 different petitions, there is no harm !
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