Bengaluru

Schools plan to file complaints over fees

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Claim parents seek leniency but later refuse to settle their dues

Private schools have started adopting more aggressive methods to get parents to pay the fees for their child’s education and are planning to file complaints at the jurisdictional police stations. This is the first time the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka has decided to involve the police and lodge complaints not only against parents but also their children.

“Some parents ask for leniency as they are unable to pay the monthly tuition fees. We send them reminders month after month. At the end of the year, they refuse to settle their dues,” said D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools.

Managements of several schools claim that this trend of refusing to pay the fees started a few years ago after the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 was adopted in Karnataka. The Act states that a transfer certificate is not required if a child wishes to leave one school and seek admission in another. Many school managements have reported that when they put pressure on a parent to pay up, they simply pull the child out of their school and enrol them somewhere else.

When they requested the Department of Primary and Secondary Education to intervene, senior officials suggested that they file police complaints.

“Legally, there’s nothing we can do to make parents accountable for their actions and ensure that they pay the fees,” said a senior official.

Given the cost of private education, many parents take loans just to enrol their children. There have been instances of families mired in debt for several years. “It is only after the student finishes class ten that they pay the fees as we threaten to withhold their marks card,” a principal of a school said.

Some principals claim that parents often ‘threaten to call activists’ or ‘defame the school’ if their child is not promoted to the next standard.

In February, the head of the Sri Srinivasa Vidya Samsthe in Yeshwantpur complained to the association regarding a former student who completed class ten in the 2017-18 academic year but owed the school management ₹80,000. “The student has now joined a pre-university college. We want to know how the college admitted her as we have not given her original marks card and transfer certificate,” a representative of the school said.

Police are wondering how to address the issue. “While we can register an FIR under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC against the parents, we do not want to penalise students as their future will be at stake,” a senior police official said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 9:04:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/schools-plan-to-file-complaints-over-fees/article26522242.ece

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