The Karnataka Private Schools Parents’ Associations’ Coordination Committee has pleaded with primary and secondary education minister S. Suresh Kumar for legal action against private school managements who have started online classes for their students even during the summer vacation only to arm-twist parents to pay the school fees for the academic year 2020-2021.
The committee has also pressed for action against the management of private schools that have deliberately withheld the results of the students for the 2020-21 academic year.
Several schools in Karnataka have been urging parents to pay fees for the current academic year and attending online classes even during summer vacation. Soon after the academic year came to an end in March, several schools in Karnataka had notified parents regarding payment of the fees with deadlines in April and May failing which their wards would be blocked from attending classes.
“Schools are not supposed to conduct classes during the summer vacations. They are also forcing parents to buy books from vendors specified by them. According to the CBSE guidelines, the list should be made public to everybody and parents are free to buy them from anywhere. Schools are not supposed to sell any books,” said Mohamed Shakeel, President, Voice of Parents, (VOP).
One of the parents whose ward has been barred from attending the classes said, “The main aim to conduct the classes during the summer vacation is to collect the fees. I had given Rs 13,000 for one set of books last year which included the identity card, OMR sheet. The school authorities do not even respond to mails. This year, I have asked them to adjust the amount from last year after the fees were slashed. The authorities are not ready to do so and have barred my ward from attending classes.”
Parents have lodged complaints with the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) but no action has been taken yet due to the lockdown. “Those who have paid the fees are being allowed to attend the classes. Parents are looking for solutions but government is not supporting. Although the Supreme Court has already ordered that children should be made a victim in payment of fees and that they should be allowed to continue with their education, schools are not following the same. This will leave the child with a permanent scar. Block Education Officer (BEO) who is responsible government authority for overseeing school matters and parents complaint is not available due to the ongoing pandemic. Hence the parents are being forced to adhere to the schools’ torture,” Chetan Mahadev, member, Voice of Parents, Karnataka told EducationWorld.News, States