The school education department has told Our Lady of Perpetual Succour School in Chembur to refund the money it had collected from students last month. The school had collected between Rs 9,500 and Rs 10,500 from each student.
In its order dated May 2, 2013, the education department said that an inquiry on the school, following complaints from parents and media reports, revealed that despite being a government-aided school, the institution had charged illegal fees for expenses such as books, annual events, field trips, and so on, from parents.
“It is against government rules for aided schools to charge such fees. The school has to return the money through cash or cheque. If the school wants to appeal against the decision, they can reply to us,” said TM Dongre, education inspector of North Zone.
Despite repeated attempts to contact him, the school manager Father Paul Julius was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Fr Paul had told HT on April 25 that such fees were being charged after the consent of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA).
Dongre said, “If the school PTA had given its consent for such fees, then the school will have to produce the minutes of the PTA meetings.”
The order further stated that the school had been charging such illegal fees from students even in the past. “The department has recommended that a fact-finding committee be formed to find out the total amount of such fees collected in the past. The school might have to refund that amount as well,” the order stated.
Jayant Jain, president of the Forum For Fairness in Education, fighting on behalf of the parents, said, “Many aided schools in the city are collecting amounts under various heads. Parents should stop paying such illegal amounts and lodge police complaints.”