Mumbai: Schools fear surge in cases of unpaid fees

The state government and aided schools have raised the issue of clearance of pending fees, in response to a June 16 government resolution (GR) allowing students to secure provisional admission in classes 9 and 10 without a Leaving Certificate (LC) or Transfer Certificate (TC). Schools said LC or TC is an important document provided only when students clear all pending fees. They said admission without this document could lead to mounting debts for schools.

State School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said, “In the current unusual circumstances, it is learned that some schools are refusing admissions to students due to a lack of LC or TC.” She said in the case of non-receipt of LC or TC from the previous school, students should be admitted in the class according to their age. “For this, the birth certificate of the student should be considered as proof,” Gaikwad added.

A former principal and a senior teacher, Sandesh Manikar, however, said that last year many parents didn’t pay the fees for their children studying in class 9, citing the pandemic-induced financial crisis. He remarked, “Now these parents might transfer their children to another school as they do not need LC or TC. Who will pay their fees then? How are schools supposed to recover the expenses?”

The principal of a school in Bandra (East) said they don’t issue LC or TC unless parents have paid all pending fees. “Until now, the students were unable to secure admission in another school without this document. Now that these certificates are not required, parents might shift their children without clearing pending dues,” the principal said.

Gaikwad said, “Denying admission to any student is unjust and a violation of the Right to Education Act. If the student is deprived of education, appropriate action will be taken against the headmaster concerned or school head as per the provisions of the rules and regulations.”

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