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Fee dispute leads to enrollment cancellation, NCPCR steps in

May 28, 2021

A discord between Pathways School and a group of parents in Gurgaon soared up as the names of five students got struck off from the school owing to dispute in school fees over a period of time. The matter has reached National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the top body which looks into child rights. NCPCR has taken a note of the matter and urged the state government to ensure that the concerned students’ education is not compromised.

The parents’ group had alleged that their wards’ enrolments were cancelled on the grounds of defaming the school.

In a letter to Gurgaon deputy commissioner Yash Garg, NCPCR noted that, “involving children into financial matter by school and the parents by publicly displaying/calling out the name of the children and the expulsion amounts to harassment of the children which is prohibited by the law.

“Take appropriate action in this complaint as per Section 17 of RTE Act, 2009 and Section 75 of JJ Act, 2015. Please provide full enquiry and action taken report in the matter to the commission with supporting documents within two weeks of receipt of this letter, the letter adds.

A group of parents has been at loggerheads with the school over fees. They lodged several complaints with the Haryana government’s Fee and Fund Regulatory Committee (FFRC), accusing the school of not complying with government orders to charge only tuition fees. They also moved the High Court.

Last month, the school authorities show caused 13 students alleging that their parents had violated the contract they had signed and had issued reputational damage to the school by spreading ‘misinformation and levelling false allegations to defame the institution’

On May 22, the school terminated the enrolment of five students saying their reply from parents did not ‘assuage the genuine and valid concerns of the schools.’

Officials in the Education department said that Right to Education Act had to be upheld and they would find a resolution after following up with both the sides.

Meanwhile, 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.

Also Read: Karnataka schools continue classes during vacation, parents forced to pay fees

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