Students and parents of the AJC Public School staged a sit-in demonstration outside the school and later at the Collectorate seeking a solution for the plight of over 487 students whose school ordered shut since December 5 following the school-van accident that killed nine children and one teacher at Vedaranyam.

Of the 10 schools ordered shut post-the accident, this is the only school with a CBSE holy faith international syllabus.

According to parents, on seeking admission to the only other CBSE school in Nagapattinam, the management had demanded a fee that included a building donation and so forth amounting to about Rs. 14,000. While parents are willing to pay the tuition fees for the third term, there are other questions of adaptability and treatment. Further, some students have claimed that the school administration would grant admission only to a lower class.

With 60 days remaining for the term to end, parents seek appointment of special officers to run the school or an alternative to ensure the completion of the current year under the CBSE syllabus.

According to Collector C. Munianathan, a request for a waiver of donation could be made to the concerned institution. According to him, ‘third-party’ pressure could only be limited, considering that even the concerned institution would have resource constraints. A nodal officer was appointed to facilitate admissions, but parents had demanded reopening the school, says the Collector.

On the other hand, on Tuesday, the Madras High Court had dismissed a writ filed by the parents seeking temporary suspension of the district administration’s orders till the completion of the last term of this academic year.

According to R.T. Shyamala, Counsel for parents, the HC has ruled that no sympathy could be granted to the students by allowing unrecognised institutions to continue for the remaining term. However, it has directed the district education department to remedy the adversity caused to students within 10 days. The HC has come down strongly on the Education department for waking up only in times of crises, without a care for prevention. The school had functioned under the nose of the administration for over three years.

While the district administration here had ordered closure of over 10 schools immediately after the accident, other district administrations had reportedly issued show cause notices to erring schools. According to Ms. Shyamala, the HC has directed closure of all unrecognised schools in other districts.