The New Horizon Public School in Khanda Colony, Panvel, has received criticism for pressuring students and their parents to pay fees for the second semester of the current academic year. The school sent notices to parents through the students.
The school has imposed late fine charges for delayed payments until October. However, if fees remain unpaid beyond this deadline, the school's educational regulations stipulate strict actions, including barring students from appearing in examinations. In addition, the school employees also made announcements on the sound system regarding fee collection.
"This is unfortunate," Pritam Mhatre
Pritam Mhatre, a former leader of the opposition at Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC), has called for more reasonable approaches to fee collection in schools. Mhatre said that it is regrettable that students will not be allowed to sit for exams if fees are not paid on time. This is unfortunate."
He added that in such a scenario, students will go to school with unnecessary pressure. However, the responsibility for these errors must be shared. “The school should have engaged with parents to discuss fee matters personally. I urge all schools not to resort to extreme measures. In case such situations persist, parents should report them to the administration. The administration can then liaise with the government's Education Department to take appropriate action against schools employing such inappropriate methods,” said Mhatre.
"Fundamental right of students to take exams"
Mhatre stressed that under the Right to Education, it is the fundamental right of all students to take their exams. Pressuring students to appear for exams through unilateral decisions and creating obstacles that burden parents with fee payments is unacceptable. “It amounts to the exploitation of students' right to education. Schools should engage in open dialogue with parents to resolve fee-related issues without causing distress to the students."