The School KFI (Krishnamurti Foundation India) will remain in Chennai but at a different location.
On Saturday, a meeting convened by parents of the students and trustees of the Foundation helped allay the apprehensions of the parents about the school closing down.
Their concern followed a communication from the school management on November 3 that the lease period of the land on which the school is located ends in 2014 and The Theosophical Society, to which the land belongs, is not keen on renewing the agreement.
An announcement in the home page of www.theschoolkfi.org reads: “The School KFI has been functioning on the premises of The Theosophical Society since 1979. The lease expires in 2014. After several rounds of discussions, The Theosophical Society has communicated its inability to grant a fresh lease beyond 2014 as it wishes to use these premises for its own projects.”
The website listed the implications the decision would have for every class.
“At today's meeting it was decided that the parents of the school and KFI will work together to find a suitable site to relocate the school,” said S.P. Kandaswamy, secretary, KFI.
Asked if extending the lease is still an option, Mr. Kandaswamy said that the Foundation has held many rounds of discussion with the Society. “We want to honour the Society's decision for whatever social purpose it wishes to take up. Therefore, relocation is the alternative, for which we have four years and the additional two years they (Society) granted to find a new location,” he said.
Since the announcement was made to the staff and parents on November 3, it has upset and angered a majority of them. Support groups were created on social networking sites such as Facebook by the parents and well-wishers to express displeasure on the closure.
Saturday's meeting discussed three main issues: To open up negotiations with The Theosophical Society to extend the lease period; in the event of the Society not agreeing to extend the lease, discuss a relocation plan; and the implications the decision would have for the next four years. Many expressed apprehension on the effect it would have if children discontinued from a school. “The management has assured that they have got permission for two more years [beyond 2014] such that students of classes V and VI get to complete class X. The work of the school founder J.Krishnamurti is so big and beautiful to be stopped by a land issue. What we are going to miss most is the campus,” said a parent of class V student.
A few parents suggested that the social project that the Society wants to start and the school could coexist. Another parent wanted the management to remove the line on the website that “they are not opening admissions to Classes 1 and 5 for the academic year 2011-12.”