Indore: More than 50 parents of Delhi Public School (DPS) filed individual complaints to District Education Officer on Thursday, against school's harassment and refusal to refund or adjust the annual fee already paid for the academic session 2020-21. Complaints were raised against both DPS Indore and DPS Rau.
Most of the complaints raised the issue of school fee and urged DEO to redefine fee and other essential guidelines for online classes. As per latest orders of Madhya Pradesh High Court, schools are only allowed to collect tuition fee and further, no students can be expelled for unpaid fee.
DPS not refunding and adjusting annual fee was cited as contempt of court's order.
Further, citing the removal of students from online class groups if it means expelling students, parents quoted it as contempt of court.
“Online education experts, including the Government of India entities, offer such classes for free or for nominal charges, using the tools and techniques, which DPS Indore is not capable of providing. There are better and cheaper options available for online education,” said Dr Sandeep Khadwe, one of the complainants. He explained that online education and classroom education are two different streams of education.
“In my opinion, they do not bear the same outcome/results and the cost for students/ parents / education provider is not the same. Hence, if at all the school, DPS Indore, wants to provide online education, the school shall make a proposal to us as parents, including the terms of the education which may include fees, duration of study, method and content, competency of teacher imparting such online education and costs involved,” Khadwe said.
He added that after receipt of such proposal and careful consideration, parents may agree or disagree with the proposal.
“As on today, I have neither provided any explicit permission for the same nor the school has started such education after making any proposal and by seeking explicit permission of parents,” Khadwe said. He added that the decision of the school to start through online classes is unilateral and imposed upon the parents and students.
“I have not agreed to any fees payment related to online education, I have not agreed to adjustment of advance fees payment made for Classroom education against the Online Classes. The fees I have paid before is NOT for seeking online education,” Khadwe said.
He added that if the school is voluntarily providing the online education, it is considered as voluntary and free service without the consent of parents. Hence, no fees should be charged for such online education or online classes.
Advocate Chanchal Gupta coordinating from Jago Palak Jago for all the parents who submitted complaints said, “The school has no right to demand fees for online classes and even if they must charge for payment to teachers then it must be decided by parents and school jointly coming to an appropriate charge.”
However, District Education Officer Rajendra Makhwani ensured that an inspection will be done. "We have received a complaint from parents and considering them, I will order an inspection of complaints. Block resource coordinator (BRC) will take on the task on inspection,” said the DEO.
“As per school association's petition in HC, the orders asking schools to collect only tuition fee is on stay. Hence, until any such orders are given, the school can collect the annual fee. If any such orders come in the future, then we will take action accordingly,” said Principal Ajay Sharma.