Church schools to take action against defaulting students

West Bengal: Church schools to take action against defaulting students

December 16, 2020
-Mita Mukherjee

The individual schools run by various churches in West Bengal will take their own decision on whether they would de-roster students for not clearing the fees or they would allow them to continue to attend the online classes for some more time, according to the decision taken by the association of Christian minority schools of the state on Tuesday.

The West Bengal Association of Christian Schools, an organization of schools run by various church bodies conducted a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the steps to be taken against students who have failed to clear the fees since April within November 30.

Fifty-four schools attended the meeting. Participating in the meeting the heads of a number of schools asked whether they could de-roster students who have not cleared the outstanding dues citing the Calcutta High Court order that instructed parents not only to clear the dues within November 30 but had also stated that if guardians failed to do so, the schools could remove their wards from the online classes and availing of other facilities from December 8. In the order the court had also directed private schools to waive 20 per cent tuition and session fees of students.   

Several schools who attended the meeting on Tuesday had also expressed their willingness to the association to give the defaulting parents some more time to clear their dues on humanitarian grounds.

Father Moloy D’Costa, the association secretary said after the meeting that it has been left to the founder bodies of the individual schools to decide the course of action to be taken against students who failed to clear the dues within the date fixed by the court.

“The main issue of discussion in Tuesday’s meeting was action, if any required to be taken against the defaulters in terms of the order of the Honorable High Court. Certain points emerged from the discussion. The schools can act according to the court order. But at the same time they will have to exercise care and caution before taking an extreme step. The schools also agreed to give repeated letters to the defaulting parents reminding them to clear the dues. But the respective founder bodies will have to take the final call and in accordance with law ,” Father Moloy D’Costa told EducationWorld.      

“As the association has filed SLP in Supreme Court, we also need to wait for the outcome of the same,” he said.

Terence John, principal of Albany Hall Public School in Kolkata who was present in the meeting said going by the court order there is no “legal problem” if a school decides to de-roster students for not clearing the dues.

“But most schools have agreed not to take any drastic step immediately. The winter vacation has started in many schools. We will decide our course of action after Christmas,” Terence John said. He is also the president of Association of Heads of Anglo-Indian Schools, West Bengal.               

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, the Methodist Churches, and the Baptist churches. There are about 70 founder bodies and around 700 schools under the association. Non-church schools run by Christian group are also members of the association.

The association had arranged the meeting because many guardians of several schools had failed to clear the dues even after the expiry of the deadline given by the court.   

Also read: Church-run schools to take action against defaulting parents

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