They protested the discontinuation of primary classes from 2014 in A School, Anna Nagar West. School says decision was taken after implementation of RTE Act

Parents of the Anna Nagar West branch of A School submitted a written petition to the city police commissioner on Thursday, against the school’s decision to discontinue class I upwards from the next academic year.

A School is a chain of neighbourhood institutions across the city, which currently offers primary education in most of its branches.

Parents who protested on Thursday said they were promised their children could migrate to one of the main schools that would come up in Mogappair, Pallikaranai, Porur and Madhavaram. These schools were expected to offer CBSE education up to class XII.

However, some parents whose children study in classes I, II, and III at the branch alleged they were called earlier this month, and were individually asked to look for another school from the next academic year, as the branch would only cater to pre-primary students from 2014.

“I shifted my daughter from a matriculation school to this school for class I and even made her repeat class I on the school’s insistence. She is in class III now and it will be very difficult to get admission in a CBSE school as schools take in students in pre-K.G. or class I,” said a parent who did not want to be named. Another parent, whose two children study in the school, said they even shifted their residence.

Parents said the problem was not exclusive to their branch and demanded that the management make arrangements for admission for their children in another school for the next academic year, as securing admission in an intermediate class is difficult.

According to a representative of the education chain, there are 21 A schools, now re-branded ‘A School Pre-School’ where over 2,000 students study. While six branches are run by the Foundation, the rest are franchisees.

In a written explanation, a representative from the group of schools wrote that in 2009, they established pre-schools across Chennai with the intention of providing initial education to children in smaller schools that were closer to their residences before providing for higher education in a main school.

However, it further stated that “Subsequent to the Fee Act (Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act 2009) the RTE Act was implemented in 2011. RTE mandated that 25 per cent of all seats in private schools be reserved, for which no fee can be collected. Under the changed circumstances, the construction and operation of a main school is not possible.”

The statement said they had spoken to several schools to accommodate their primary students and were awaiting confirmation. The representative said parents must also start looking out. When asked about the website which still mentions four main schools, and classes up to class XII in the near future, the representative said it would be updated soon.

They protested the discontinuation of primary classes from 2014 in A School, Anna Nagar West