The Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation, Higher Secondary and CBSE Schools Association has expressed the need for (Namakkal) Super Schools to be transparent and change their attitude and approach towards parents and students.

The association’s State General Secretary K.R. Nandhakumar observed that the main reason for people to flare up following the death of Mohanraj (16), was lack of transparency in the school’s administration and their poor approach towards parents.

“Private schools in Namakkal are known for consecutively producing many state toppers in the Class 12 Board examinations,” he said.

“Sadly they have a step motherly attitude towards parents by closing their gates to the parents, not respecting them and fleecing them with exorbitant fees that are manifold times more than the fees prescribed by the government. Parents are also not allowed to see their wards when they wanted to ensure that they were doing well,” the Secretary added.

Mr. Nandhakumar said that schools will also be urged to appoint a psychiatrist and adequate councillors (based on the student strength) to monitor students and interact with those who are lagging behind in education and in their routine.

This could help schools know if students were depressed and address the issue in the right way.

“The parents of those students will also be informed about the behavioural changes,” he added.

The association has also given an assurance to the district administration that private schools will take necessary steps to ensure the safety of students in the school, hostel and transport vehicles.

It has also mooted forming an effective parent’s committee in each school that would be closely monitoring the safety of students and the facilities in the school.

“School level committees should be allowed to visit the hostel, school and transport vehicles any time and interact with the management on what should be done to ensure the safety of the students.

Complaint boxes will also be put up in many places in the school and hostel for students to petition their grievances. It should be monitored by the parents’ committee frequently and redressed in a timely manner,” he added.

He also felt that death of the 16-year-old would not have become so sensitive if the school had approached the incident directly by informing parents about it, than paving way for speculations by hiding the facts till the parents reached the school.

The poor approach paved way for suspicion that the school could be responsible for his death, he added.

“The common mistake of institutions is removing the body of the deceased and taking it to the Government Hospital. The procedure is to inform the police, who will inspect the place and make a detailed note of the evidence before they recover the body and take it for post-mortem,” he said.