Protest over Army School threat

Students parents up in arms over fee hike

The parents of 42 children who were served with debarment notices by Army Public School, JC Nagar, staged a dharna in front of the school on Friday.

The management of the school that earlier refused to comment on the issue offered explanations of all the points of grievances that have agitated the parents. The bone of contention between the two sides is fee hike since 2009 which the parents claim is ‘illegal’ and against which the parents appealed in the court.

While the High Court directed the school to restore the earlier fee structure, the school management claim that the order was stayed by the court an appeal filed by it. The document provided by the school management to substantiate this claim was however a stay order by the High Court in an another case filed by other schools against another party.

Asked why the name of the school does not figure in the list of appellants, principal Mausmi Dutta said: “We also figure in the list of schools but our name was not included in it. However this also applies to us as well.”

A senior member of the management attributed the hike in fees to meet the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. He said the salary of the teachers and principals went up in the wake of the pay panel recommendations and hence the fee had to be increased.

The students were required to pay a new ‘re-admission’ fees of Rs 21,000 ever since the school changed its name to Army Public School from the Parachute Regiment School. This, despite a clear refusal by the Central Board for Secondary Education Board to which the school is affiliated.

Re-admission fees

The management explained that it had written to the Board on the necessity of high admission fee and was awaiting a reply. However, it was firm on collection of re-admission fees despite not receiving any reply from the Board.

“Everyone has paid the admission fees except these 42 kids. How will the school run and the teachers be paid their salaries if they do not pay admission fees,” said a senior member of the school management. 

Many parents have alleged harassment of their wards. “We have allowed these children to be in this school for so long without paying their fees. Many of them have not even cleared their dues since the time of the Parachute Regiment School,” said a senior management official.

There was a case involving a boy from the sixth standard who was put in the library as punishment. The management claimed that the boy was merely separated from the class as he was a defaulter who had not paid the fees.

“Neither the State government nor the Centre pays a single penny to the school. We are accountable only to the Army Education Welfare Society” said an official of the school.  
The parents met with the Commissioner for Public Instruction about four days ago and he had assured them of action on the lines de-recognition according to one parent.

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