Illegal fee hike: Education department asks Pune school to reinstate expelled students

Updated on Mar 26, 2019 02:33 PM IST

The letter issued by the deputy director education, Pune, on March 22, to the school located at Amanora Park Town, Hadapsar, mentions that ‘the school cannot expel a child till the completion of elementary education.’

The parents who wrote to education department, Pune, said that if the school fails to adhere to the order issued by the government department, they will take legal steps and “through the court we will pay the ‘legalised fee’ and not entertain the school’s ‘unreasonable demands”.(HT representational photo)
The parents who wrote to education department, Pune, said that if the school fails to adhere to the order issued by the government department, they will take legal steps and “through the court we will pay the ‘legalised fee’ and not entertain the school’s ‘unreasonable demands”.(HT representational photo)
Hindustan Times, Pune | ByNozia Sayyed

Following the complaint filed by the aggrieved parents who claimed that their children were expelled from Amanora school last week for protesting against ‘illegal fee hike’, the education department of Pune has ordered the school to reinstate the students with immediate effect.

The letter issued by the deputy director education, Pune, on March 22, to the school located at Amanora Park Town, Hadapsar, mentions that ‘the school cannot expel a child till the completion of elementary education.’

As per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (the RTE Act), elementary education is till Class 5.

Confirming ‘ordering’ the school to reinstate the expelled students, Meenakhi Raut, deputy director, education, Pune said, “There have been many complaints against the school in the past as well. The latest is about expulsion of students only because their parents protested against the fee hike. We have immediately written to the school to readmit the students and asked them to make sure that no student’s academic year is affected.”

The education official said that the school has also been asked to act upon the issued letter and report to the department in detail, said Raut.

Vikram Deshmukh, Amanora school’s spokesperson, said, “We have replied to the education authorities that students will be readmitted only if their parents pay the total fees.”

According to Deshmukh, 24 of the 278 protesting parents have paid fees and the school have reinstated their children. “We are not against any student, but are demanding the fee which was decided by the executive parent-teacher association (EPTA),” he said.

Deshmukh said the pending fee amount from protesting parents totals Rs 1 crore 30 lakh and hence the school was forced to take such a decision.

The parents who wrote to education department, Pune, said that if the school fails to adhere to the order issued by the government department, they will take legal steps and “through the court we will pay the ‘legalised fee’ and not entertain the school’s ‘unreasonable demands”.

Dhiraj Gedam, one of the aggrieved parents, said, “We have written to the education officials that if the school disobeys their ‘order’, the department should file an FIR. We all have paid legitimate fees and if the school continues to harass us and our children, an FIR should be filed for disobeying the letter of the government

Raut could not be contacted for her comments on the future course of action despite repeated attempts.

Capitation fees

Parents of 60 students of Waked-based Euro school received a transfer certificate of their children via post sent by the school. Bharati, a parent, said, “I was shocked to read the letter that I received from the school Monday morning. The reason cited for the certificate was non-payment of fees. We have already paid it, but the school is demanding capitation fees, which is illegal.”

Another parent, Punit, said, “Euro is known to hike fee every year by around 10 to 15 per cent. We have noticed that the letters have been received by only those parents who protested against the school’s illegal fee hike last year in October. We are expecting more parents to receive the letter and will meet the education officer on Tuesday. We plan to hold a dharna in front of education officer’s office on Tuesday. Parents of students from nursery to Class 10 have received the letter.”

Govind Jagannath, trustee of Euro school, could not be contacted for his comments on parents’ plea despite repeated attempts.

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