Action comes pursuant to news report carried in ‘The Hindu’

The Inspector of Matriculation Schools (IMS) has warned private schools in the district against practising "educational untouchability" by following two different school timings — shorter duration for students who paid government prescribed fees and longer for those who paid more.

The warning comes in the wake of a report published by The Hindu on July 7 about Mary Ann Matriculation Higher Secondary School in D.R.O.Colony here introducing dual timings and holding computer classes for a section of children and charging additional fees towards extra-curricular activities.

Following the publication of the news report, C. Suresh, a lawyer and secretary of the School Students Welfare-Parents Association, lodged a formal complaint with Collector L. Subramanian as well as Chief Educational Officer C. Amuthavalli seeking appropriate action.

Acting on their directive, the IMS (in-charge) K. Vijayarani wrote to the school on July 18 saying that conducting classes for a shorter duration for those who pay government prescribed fees was a clear violation of government rules and regulations.

She attached a copy of a calendar prepared by the School Education Department along with her letter and directed that the school should follow the timings as prescribed in the calendar for all students. "The timings should not be changed according to the convenience of the school management," she said.

The IMS also said that the school should take classes only according to the Samacheer Kalvi (uniform syllabus) scheme being implemented by the State government and should not distribute books meant for the Central Board of Secondary Education or other boards to its students.

Marking a copy of the communication to the Collector, Director of Matriculation Schools as well as the CEO, she said that suitable recommendations would be made to the higher authorities concerned for initiating appropriate action against the school if it failed to follow the directives.

When contacted, Ms. Vijayarani told The Hindu that apart from writing to the Principal of Mary Ann school, she had conveyed a similar message to the managements of all other private schools in the district during a meeting convened last week. However, the student welfare association secretary, Mr. Suresh alleged that after the IMS’ communication, Mary Ann School was allowing all children to stay back on the campus in accordance to the common timing but taking special classes for those who paid an additional fee toward extra curricular activities.

Denying the allegation, school correspondent A. Jayapaul said that he had given up the dual timing system and reverted to the old system of following a common timing for all children without any discrimination.

He accused a section of parents of attempting to tarnish the image of the school by spreading falsehood.

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