Three children were escorted out of Gurgaon’s Shalom Hills International School by teachers on Monday morning, with the school alleging non-payment of fees and parents claiming they had been given a relief order from the District Education Officer (DEO).
Children of Ramphal Sheoran — his five-year-old son who studies in Class I, and 13-year-old daughter who studies in Class IX — were among the three students. Sheoran, an advocate, alleged that he had not paid the annual fees because the school failed to prove that the amount was “legal and approved”.
“They asked us to pay them an amount close to Rs 40,000 and we only asked them to show us documentation proving they can legally charge that kind of money. They failed to show the same, so we have not paid the fee,” said Sheoran. He alleged that his children went to class on Monday, but teachers claimed they did not have their names in the registers, and escorted them out. Sheoran, however, did acknowledge that he had been handed a transfer certificate on March 20.
“They did hand me a transfer certificate, but I got a relief order from the DEO, so my children should have been allowed into the school,” he said. Jyoti Dembla, mother of the third child, who studies in Class VII, said, “We tried to talk to the principal and teachers, but they refused to listen to us, and we spent all day sitting outside the school gates.”
School officials, however, said the two sets of parents had failed to pay the school fee for the last two years, and the names of their wards were crossed off the list after all other measures had been tried. “Over the last two years, we have requested them multiple times, verbally and in writing, to pay the school fee. We also told them that if there were financial issues in doing so, they could put it in writing and it would be taken into consideration, but they failed to pay heed to our requests,” said Atul Bhatt, principal of Shalom Hills International School.
He added, “We had finally given the children transfer certificates close to two weeks ago, citing non-payment of fee, and had notified the DEO of the same.”
Both Dembla and Sheoran have been active participants in protests in the city regarding the “unjustifiably high fee hike” enforced by private schools.