Aggrieved Parents of school children staged a protest in front of SSt Raphael’s Higher Secondary School, accusing the school authorities of barring students from attending online classes due to non-payment of fees.
A group of 80 parents stood silently protesting against the school for 2 hours.
However, school principal Sister Jancy Joseph and no other school representative agreed to speak to the parents. When parents stood still, the principal agreed to meet parents individually, whereas parents demanded a common platform.
Denying the same, the school called upon police and asked parents to be sent back. Police also urged the school administration to speak to the parents and resolve the matter.
Nevertheless, a small representative group of parents met with the school principal and discussed their issues.
Parent representatives Pankaj Mehta and Rakesh Silawat shared the issues faced by parents as follows:
Despite the government’s instructions, St Raphael’s Higher Secondary School is denying online classes to some students.
A separate group of students whose fee was paid was created by the school. Classes in the previous group were stopped.
The school is asking for charges an entire fee under the head of the tuition fee thereby denying any relief to parents. As per the latest instructions from the High Court (HC) and government, schools cannot charge any non-incurred charges other than tuition fee.
Further, the school has been pressuring parents to pay school fee as soon as possible by sending out requests for receipts for classes through teachers.
Earlier, regarding similar issues, parents had approached divisional commissioner Pawan Sharma, who had ordered that schools cannot remove students from online classes citing non-payment of fee.
Parents had approached Sharma under the campaign ‘Jago Palak Jago’ against schools pressuring to pay a complete fee while only online classes are being held. As per instructions from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was also approached by a parent, schools cannot pressurise parents to pay a fee.
Further, as brought to light by parent associations CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliation bye-laws, which states that every school must have a reserve fund for an emergency.
On which, Sharma had demanded schools to disclose their reserve fund and use it in these difficult times to bear expenses.
Other than Sharma, joint director education department and district education officer has already instructed schools not to deny online classes to students, even if their fee is unpaid.
School assures ‘will not pressurise’
After discussing the issues with parents, school assured them that online classes would be started for all the students. Further, until the final decision comes from HC, parents will not be forced to pay the school fee.