Two students, holding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards, have had to withdraw their admissions from Universal School in Ghatkopar as the school was charging their fees in dollars.
The parent of the children, who has been residing in India for the last two years, claimed he had to pay higher fees than regular students, as his children were born in the USA, and the school demanded he pay according to the dollar rate of the day.
The parent was asked to pay admission fees of $470 for both his children and an annual tution fee of $1,430 for the child studying in Class 7 and $1,270 for the child studying in Class 2. Converted into rupees, the amount comes to Rs 71,765 for the older child and Rs 66,921 for the younger child.The regular students of the school had to pay Rs 50,410 in Class 7 and Rs 47,050 for Class 2 combining the first term fee and admission fee.
''As OCIs, we are on parity with the NRIs . Schools do not charge in dollars from NRIs. Then why should we pay so much?'' asked the parent. “As soon as we found a school that did not follow such practices, we cancelled our admission to this school,’’ he added.
However, the school maintained that it is their policy to charge as per dollar rate from students who are not Indian citizens.
The parent contended that the school did not show them any such policy for OCI citizens. ''We were not shown any written policy for OCI citizens. If fees are calculated by the dollar rate, there will be no control over the amount being charged,'' said the parent, requesting anonymity.
The school has refused a refund to the parent, citing school refund policy. ''We do not refund first term fees if admissions are cancelled two months before school opening as we have already lost the seat. The parents had signed policy related documents when they paid the fees,'' said Jesus Lall, chairman, Universal Schools Group.