Tamil Nadu

Forum urges government to appeal against HC order on TCs

The State Platform for Common School System (SPCSS) has urged the School Education Department to appeal against a recent order by the Madras High Court, directing the department to mention status of fee payment in the transfer certificates issued by matriculation schools.

In a memorandum sent to the Principal Secretary of the SE department, the SPCSS said that inclusion of such information will lead to children facing stigmatisation. The order was issued based on two writ petitions filed by two associations of private schools, demanding safeguards to recover the fees.

While reiterating that the schools cannot refuse to issue transfer certificates, the court directed the department to make necessary changes in the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) to include an extra detail mentioning whether the fee has been paid and if not mention the pending amount.

This detail was already part of the form of transfer certificate mentioned in the Code of Regulations for Matriculation Schools, the court said.

The forum said that entering the arrears of school fees in the transfer certificate can be the “crudest” punishment for the child, and the child may have to carry the stigma and humiliation throughout their lives.

It said the inability to pay fees should not be construed as a deliberate attempt by the parents to not pay, said P.B. Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary, SPCSS. Every parent intended to pay the fees and the failure was only due to their loss of income or other financial troubles, he added.

Most families struggled economically during the pandemic. Although schools did not incur the same expenditure due to absence of physical classes, many schools did not reduce their fees, he said.

The memorandum pointed out that while the court had considered the possibility of dispute between the school administration and the parents on the amount mentioned as arrears, it unfortunately did not take notice of the impact on the child’s life on mentioning fee arrears on the transfer certificate.

While acknowledging the provision to mention such information, available on the Code of Regulations for Matriculation Schools, the SPCSS said the code was formulated several years ago and needed changes in accordance with the situation prevalent now.

It argued that the nomenclature of “matriculation schools” itself has lost relevance with the introduction of Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education (TNUSSE) Act.

Importantly, the SPCSS highlighted the order was issued without making the parents and students as party to the case as they were the key stakeholders who have to bear the impact of the order.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 7:43:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/forum-urges-government-to-appeal-against-hc-order-on-tcs/article37847440.ece

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