Maharashtra’s government-aided and government-run schools have been asked to provide admissions to new students even when the student is unable to submit the transfer certificate (TC) or leaving certificates (LC) issued by his or her former school. The state’s education department issued the diktat in wake of complaints against many private unaided schools permanently suspending students due to non-payment of the annual school fees without issuing TCs/LCs. Without the mandatory TCs/LCs issued by the former school, students have been finding it difficult to seek admission into other schools. Calling the withholding of admissions as a ‘miscarriage of justice’, the department’s new rule will now be applicable to class IX and X admissions too.
On Thursday evening, the state’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad took to social media platform, twitter saying, “Every child has a right to education and at the school of their choice. It has come to our notice that in the current extraordinary situation, students are seeking transfer out of private schools due to financial reasons and some of these students are being denied TCs/LCs. Such students whose TC/LC is unavailable or delayed may be given admission on a provisional basis by the new school. While the RTE (Right to Education) already provides this facility for students schooling till class VIII, the rule will also apply to class IX and X students.”
A government resolution issued by the state education department warned that schools refusing to admit new students due to lack of TC/LC were violating the RTE Act. School principals and administrators would be held responsible for the violation and face strict action for denying admissions. “For academic continuity, the birth/age proof of such a student has to be deemed sufficient to give admission to a class appropriate to her/his age,” added Gaikwad in her tweet.
“As per my understanding, the new rule is applicable to all aided schools and government schools only. I think private schools will still continue to demand TCs/LCs. I believe the move is a step in the right direction since it resolves issues for both the school as well as the parent. Schools too need to be considerate and give the TCs to allow the student to continue his education at the next best suitable school for him,” says Rohan Bhat, chairman, Children’s Academy Group of Schools.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread loss of employment amongst the state’ working class. The state-wide lockdown following the pandemic also led to parents and schools being at loggerheads with the former refusing to pay full dues citing lack of use of facilities like libraries, transportation and sporting etc. Schools on the other hand say they have been burdened with high maintenance costs as well as additional costs to provide online education to their students without any financial relief from the state government. Consequently, the state’s education department has been flooded with complaints about schools taking an aggressive stand and either denying students access to online education or suspending students permanently over non-payment of school fees. Some schools have been withholding students’ transfer certificates too.
The Bombay High Court in March passed an order saying parents were to pay 100 percent of the agreed 2020-21 academic year fees. However, most schools have been charging fees as per the 2019-20 academic year.
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