Parents move child rights panel against Mumbai school that ‘de-enrolled’ students for not paying fees

Mumbai city news: The school had ‘de-enrolled’ students as their parents opposed a fee hike of 12% every year

mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2017 16:38 IST
Puja Pednekar
Puja Pednekar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Universal School,Parents teachers Association
(HT File)

Some of the parents of a Dahisar school, which ousted 82 students for non-payment of fees recently moved the state child rights panel. They alleged that teachers of Universal School punished students by making them sit in the lobby for hours when they went to school last week.

The school had ‘de-enrolled’ students as their parents opposed a fee hike of 12% every year, even though it was approved by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA). On Thursday, it readmitted 70 parents who cleared their dues unconditionally, but 10 parents continue to oppose the hike.

Around 10 parents complained to the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) against the school authorities, while the rest paid the pending fees unconditionally, said the school.

At the hearing on Wednesday, the commission refused to interfere stating that the Dahisar school is a minority institute and hence, the Right to Education Act (2009) is not applicable to it.

But it directed parents to file a fresh petition under the Child Rights Commission (CRC) Act, which is applicable to all institutes irrespective of their status. “The parents had earlier complained through the RTE Act which states that schools cannot indulge in mental or physical harassment of the students. So we have asked them to reapply through CRC,” said AN Tripathi, secretary of the commission.

The commission said that schools cannot victimise students over non-payment of fees. “If fees are not paid then it’s the parents fault, children cannot be dragged into such disputes. They should not be expelled or tortured,” said Tripathi.

The school maintained that they will readmit students only if they pay the fees.“At least 70 parents have paid the full fees without any condition, so we have readmitted those students,” said Jesus Lall, chairman of the school.

The state’s divisional fee regulatory panel had intervened in the case and suggested that the parents pay the fees on escrow, which means that the money will be kept aside till the dispute ends. But Lall said that most of the parents made unconditional payments.

First Published: Jun 16, 2017 16:38 IST