School management banned from broaching subject of fees with students

Oct 30, 2017

 Mysuru: For children and adolescents, for whom the idea of going to school conjures images of merriment, fun and studies, thoughts of money and the expenses that private education entails are not details they spend much, if any time over. However, in a particularly disturbing incident, a class II student stopped attending school after he was allegedly insulted by a teacher of a private school over delayed payment of fees.

Taking cognisance of the incident, and to prevent such instances from recurring, the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has banned private schools from broaching the subject of fees with the students, and directly approach the parents. The CWC has also passed an order to this effect, following complaints from parents about their children being harassed over delayed fee payment.

A four-member CWC bench, of which HT Kamala is the president, with Sister Milagrin D’Souza, TS Savita Kumari and E Dhananjaya, passed the directive. Dhananjaya told TOI that officials from the department of public instruction (DPI) had been instructed to ensure that all schools fell in line with the directive.

 “After the class II student was insulted by the teacher, we intervened in the issue and the school management has apologized as well. They have told us that action will be initiated against the teacher in question. This order is an effort to stop such incidents in the future,” said Dhananjaya.

He added that violating the directive could invite stringent action from the DPI.

Coordinator of the child helpline (1098), Nagasimha G said that the order was being passed at the right time, since cases of students facing harassment were on the rise. “In most cases, students are the victims of the tug-of-war between the school management and parents over fees and other expenses. Students are targeted inside the classroom, which can push them into depression,” he said.

Child welfare activists want the DPI to enforce the order strictly. “Many orders remain on paper. The authorities concerned must ensure that orders meant to protect students are implemented in all schools. Using students as a tool to collect fees is really inhuman,” said Ravindra S, an academician.