Few parents were sent mails two days ago. They had been revolting against the school’s arbitrary charges.
In a move to extract outstanding fees, Amity International School in Vasundhara, Sector 1, threatened dozens of parents with an ultimatum — to strike off their wards’ names from the school rolls if fees were not cleared by July 31.
Two days ago, parents received a mail from the school stating the same. The mails have been sent to a selected group of parents — who revolted against the school’s arbitrary charges.
The ultimatum mail to parents
Amit kumar Dubey, secretary of Amity Parents’ Association, said, “Parents who were sent mails have paid the tuition fees and other reasonable charges. Only charges under three heads — AC, annual and activity charges were not paid because they seemed arbitrary. And when parents demanded a justification for the same, they were not satisfactorily answered by the school.”
Dubey argued parents are ready to pay the above-mentioned charges, but the school must provide a rationale for claiming the same.
The mail is not the first instance of intimidation by school
“Since the Uttar Pradesh Self Financed Independent Schools Ordinance came into effect, we decided not to pay the unjustified charges. We are being been continuously pressurised by the school in some way or the other. The tactics used by the school to put pressure on parents are frivolous and will be deemed criminal in the eyes of law,” Dubey argued.
Parents alleged that school denied issuance of ID cards to their children. Children were also excluded from various school activities. “And to top it all, children’s access to do homework on school’s website was revoked as well,” Dubey said.
Gyanendra Prakash, whose two wards study in Amity, said this discrimination is bothering their children. “It’s affecting them psychologically — these tricks are frustrating my children and leaving an adverse impact on their development,” he complained.
These pressure tactics, Dubey claimed, directly violated the Right to Education Act of 2009, which categorically states that children can’t be harassed on account of fee dispute with the school.
The school is, in fact, not complying with administrative orders, claimed parents. “When we asked the school to charge fees as per the ordinance, they questioned the validity of the ordinance itself. Quite contradictorily, they also claimed that they were charging as per the ordinance. But one look at the fee invoice will tell you that it’s not true,” explained Dubey.
School's reply to parents
Fed up with the school’s hostile attitude, parents sought the intervention of the District Inspector of Schools (DIOS). The DIOS asked the school to comply with the ordinance and asked the school to take cognizance of the DM’s order released on May 10, which states that in the absence of clarity in fees formulation as per the ordinance, schools will not charge raised fee.
Parents said that after the directives from the DIOS’ office, school composited all the questionable charges under a single head, and put out a circular stating that they’ve proposed the fee as per the ordinance.
The fee before the ordinance; the reorganised fee, with a new head, composite charges
Amit Saxena, an agitated parent whose daughter studies in Amity, blamed administration for the school’s devil-may-care attitude. “Authorities are only serving notices and giving orders, while the school is blatantly making a mockery of government directives. Who is responsible for implementing them?” he lashed out.
Parents reached out to City Spidey with several government notices and orders issued to the school from the offices of DIOS, Joint Director (Education) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The orders repeatedly instructed the school to refrain from threatening students or discriminating against them.
City Spidey, however, couldn’t reach the school management for comments.