A 42-year-old farmer from Dombivli has alleged that when he asked his son’s school for a concession in fees, the school mailed him his child’s school-leaving certificate. The shocked parent has complained about the school management’s ‘unprofessional’ behaviour to the Thane Collector and Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad.
Lalchand Shripad Patil 42, is a farmer and resides in Umbarli village, post Koni, Ambarnath, Thane. Patil’s son Sarthak 12, is a Class 8 student in Sankara Vidyalaya, Sonarpada, Dombivli east. Patil said that around 45 days ago, he and 10 to 15 parents went to meet the principal of the school to discuss the issue of school fees.
“We explained to the principal that many parents were jobless and had even lost their family members and loved ones during the pandemic. In view of this situation, we requested the school to give us some concession in fees. It was an oral discussion and the school management claims to have recorded an entry in the register with such a request,” said Patil. The principal had even asked them to submit a written request regarding the same, Patil claims.
Since there was no reply to their request, Patil visited the school after 10 days, accompanied by 150 parents and asked for a reply on their request for a concession in fees. “They requested us to submit a letter and we did so, with the signatures of 150 parents. For almost for 15 days, there was no reply. They started online classes, but my son Sarthak was not allowed, as we hadn’t paid the fees. The same was the case for other students who hadn’t paid fees. While classes were online, they had collected fees for karate, sports and all other activities, for which classes were not even held,” alleged Patil.
On Monday, Patil’s son along with his nephew visited the school to pay the fees. “The school management didn’t accept the fees and said they had posted the leaving certificate. Sarthak returned home and informed me. On Tuesday, I visited the school and asked why had they done so and who would give us admission in the month of July? They claim they had approached me thrice for giving the LC, but as I didn’t respond, they sent the LC by post,” alleged Patil.
“I was very active among the parents and on the parents’ social network group, so they (the school) took a decision,” he claimed.
Patil then approached the local education department. He also made written complaints to the Thane collector, the education minister and Mantralaya officials.
The Free Press Journal has a copy of the leaving certificate, which states that the certificate has been issued upon the parents’ demand. It also carries a remark stating that the student’s fees for 2020-21 are pending.
When the FPJ tried to contact the principal and school management, they denied the allegation. However, a senior school associate who did not wish to be named said, “The allegations levelled by Patil are baseless. Patil had requested us for a leaving certificate. Accordingly, we had been calling them for the past 10 days. But as they were unreachable, we sent the LC by post to their residence.”