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Fee issue: Pune school refuses entry to Class 7 student, second day in a row

While according to the school authorities, Pethkar had not paid the fees for the last two academic years, she along with 30 other parents confirmed to have paid the amount prior to the alleged illegal fee hike.

pune Updated: Oct 31, 2018 16:30 IST
Pune,fee hike issue,second day in a row
Parents gather outside Vibgyor school, NIBM, to protest against the fee hike on Tuesday. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Caught in the midst of the altercations between school authorities and parents, Class 7 student who was expelled on Monday, on grounds of non-payment of fee, continued to be denied entry into the school,despite Meenakshi Raut ,deputy director of education intervening on Tuesday morning. Son of Prajakta Pethkar, one of the parents who has been on the forefront of the 3 year long struggle, the student was barred from entering school premises on Monday.

While according to the school authorities, Pethkar had not paid the fees for the last two academic years, she along with 30 other parents confirmed to have paid the amount prior to the alleged illegal fee hike.“None of us are refusing to pay the fees. We will pay but only the legitimate one, not the one which was illegally hiked. Each time we make the payment via cheques, the school authorities return it stating that they will not accept a penny less than the amount decided by them.The,idea to pay only the legitimate fee was decided and conveyed to us by the state education department which led us to take his stand against the school,” said Pethkar.

Another parent, Rupali Mahajan added,“Also, why should the school target one child only, if the real issue is non-payment of fees, because we all (30) parents have not paid the fees. But, they are taking this action to target Pethkar as she has been leading the agitation in the hope to weaken our voices.”

The school however, stood firm on their decision denying admission to the student in concern.

“The school has recently filed a writ petition being W.P No 12354 of 2018 before the Bombay high court, wherein the parent is also a party, seeking reliefs involving various fora and statutory authorities including dismissal of the application filed by the parent before the national commission for protection of child rights inter alia praying that the school be directed to allow her child to attend the school in the academic year 2018-19. The Bombay high court vide its order dated October 26 has stayed the proceedings pending before the national commission for protection of child rights and accordingly the school has denied entry of Pethkar’s child to the school on and from October 29,” said the school spokesperson.

Although Raut visited the school to ensure the student goes back to the school, as ordered in a letter issued by the office of the education officer, the matter is still pending. Vishal Solanki, state education commissioner, said,“We had made it clear to the school authorities that a student cannot be expelled right in the middle of a term and the school should make sure this is avoided. The deputy director based on her meeting with the authorities on Tuesday will provide a full report. After reviewing the same, we will take appropriate action.”

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 16:29 IST