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500 Church of North India schools to challenge Calcutta HC fee reduction order

Church-run schools to take action against defaulting parents

December 11, 2020
-Mita Mukherjee

Private English-medium schools run by various church bodies in West Bengal have called a meeting next week to discuss the actions to be taken against parents who have failed to clear the fees from April to November.

Calcutta High Court in its order on October 13  had directed private schools to waive 20 per cent tuition and session fees of students.   

In the same order the court had instructed the parents to clear the dues within November 30 and if they failed to do so, the schools could remove their wards from the online classes and availing of other facilities from December 8.

Several schools have complained to the association  that many guardians have not cleared the dues within the November 30 deadline. The schools are wary of taking any action against the defaulting parents to avoid protests by them. A number of schools have approached the association to hold a meeting where they could jointly discuss the problem and find out a solution.    

Father Moloy D’Costa, secretary of the West Bengal Association of Christian Schools said many schools have said that a section of guardians have not cleared the dues even after the deadline. The  meeting of the association will be soon held to discuss the fee issue.

“The schools are facing difficulties because of non-payment of fees by a section of guardians. They have requested the association to hold a meeting to  discuss the problem. We will hold the meeting  soon,” Father Moly D’Costa told EducationWorld on Friday.

The October 13 order of Calcutta High Court had said: “With effect from December 8, 2020 all schools will be entitled to disallow students whose fees have not been paid in full in terms of this order and those who have not applied for reduction or waiver or the like. However, schools should ensure that this extreme step is taken only after exercising due care and caution. xx. No student will be entitled to apply for a transfer certificate without the full quantum of fees in terms of this order being first discharged.

According to a source in the association the schools have the freedom to take action against the defaulting parents. But they want to avoid taking any step on the basis of decisions taken by their individual founder bodies fearing parents’ agitation.

Several private schools in Kolkata had witnessed a series of protests by guardians complaining that their wards were not allowed to attend online classes and examinations for not paying the fees.

 A Kolkata-based social activist had filed a PIL alleging that several private schools had not been allowing students to attend online classes or taking the online tests. 

According to the source the schools were not likely to face parents’ protests if all the schools maintained uniformity in the measures the take against the defaulting guardians.

“ We want to discuss the issue jointly and take a uniform decision . This will help the schools to avoid guardians’ movements and encourage parents to pay the fees,” the source said.

The West Bengal Association of Christian Schools comprises schools run by founder bodies under Roman Catholic churches and other denominations like the Church of North India churches and  the Methodist Churches  There are about 70 founder bodies and around 700 schools under the association.

Some of the schools under the West Bengal Association of Christian Schools are St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, the Loreto schools, the Don Bosco schools, Calcutta Boys’ School, Calcutta Girls’ High School and Loyola High School.

Also read:

PIL in Delhi HC seeks action against private schools overcharging fees

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