The services of the existing staff will also be terminated, says the management

Parents of 1,700 children of the Parachute Regiment School near Mehkri Circle in the city are apprehensive about the future of their wards with the school deciding to issue transfer certificates to them by the end of the academic year.

In its circular dated February 11, the management said the existing school will be closed in March 2012, and two new Army Public Schools will be established, which will have a new set of admission and fee policies with effect from the coming academic year.

New guidelines

To facilitate this shift, the school is issuing transfer certificates and the new school “will function according to Army Welfare Education Society (AWES) guidelines”. The services of the existing school staff will also be terminated.

With the circular not explicitly promising re-admission to all the existing students in the new school, the parents are a worried lot. The parents say the AWES guidelines state that the civilian students can comprise only up to 20 per cent of the school strength. In the existing institution, civilian students are 80 per cent of the student population. “This means there will not be any admission to the remaining civilian students,” they said in a press release.

However, Mousumi Dutta, the Parachute Regiment School principal, said all children will be re-admitted and it had been conveyed to the parents.

The school was getting converted and it was just a “procedural matter”, she maintained. “Everything is happening as per norms,” she told The Hindu, when contacted. Asked about the new fee structure to be followed, she said: “The management is working on it.”

Battle over fee hike

Incidentally, the school administration and the parents have been locked in a protracted legal battle over the issue of fees.

The issue dates back to 2009, when the school decided to increase the fees by 130 per cent, which the parents opposed. The then parents formed an association and filed a writ petition in the High Court, which ruled in their favour. A writ appeal filed following this is yet to be heard.

Some of the parents have decided to appeal to the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KCPCR) to ensure that the future of the children is not jeopardised.

Krishnamurthy Chillal, whose daughter studies in Class 7 in the school, said that hall tickets for Class 10 students were being delayed citing non-payment of new fee amount. Girikumar M., whose two children study in the school, cited an earlier instance of some children being made to stand outside the school when their parents refused to pay the revised fee. “This issue was also be taken to the KCPCR,” he said.