Final Warning: Notice against Agripada school for ‘illegal’ fund collection

The school education department has issued a notice to St Joseph’s Girls’ High School, Agripada,as a final warning against illegal collection of money from students towards development fees.

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Published:May 2, 2013 12:27 am

The school education department has issued a notice to St Joseph’s Girls’ High School, Agripada,as a final warning against illegal collection of money from students towards development fees. Despite repeated complaints by parents and a notice from the south zone education inspector,the school has refused to hand over report cards of students who are yet to make the payment. Their results were due Wednesday.

“The school refused to give us report cards as we didn’t pay Rs 1,500. They also urged students to bring money on the pretext of funds for annual day function,besides forcing them to put up stalls in the school fun-fair to collect money,” alleged Sajjad Ansari,parent of a Class IX student.

In March,the education department had issued a warning to the school saying it could be derecognised if it does not stop collecting money from students “illegally”. A group of parents had earlier filed a complaint with the south zone education inspector and the deputy director of the school education department. “If the education department fails to take action,we will move court against the school,” said another parent.

Apart from mandatory school and term fee,the school has been charging students for books,files,classroom repairs,fun-fair activities,‘development’ fees and even advertisements for the school souvenir. Some parents had approached Agripada police in March to file a complaint under the Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act,but the police allegedly refused to register a complaint.

Mohammed Zaheer,parent of a Class VIII student,said,“The school is aided and receives grants from the government. They have no business harassing parents and students like this. The principal has even made children sit outside the classroom as a punishment for not paying Rs 1,500.”

School principal Sr Lovenia Almeida said,“They call us a 100 per cent-aided school. The government,however,has not disbursed the non-salary grant to the school for over nine years. How are we supposed to run the school? There are almost 20 per cent parents who have not paid this additional Rs 1,500. We don’t have money so how do we print the report cards? Those parents who understand our problem are cooperating with us and have also come forward to help the school management in raising the money.”

As per the education department notice,the school has been collecting Rs 1,500 towards development fees and an additional Rs 300 from each student annually. The notice says the school collected over Rs 20 lakh in 2011-12 and over Rs 19 lakh in 2012-13.

Balasaheb Mane,south zone education inspector,“The school is 100 per cent-aided and thus not allowed to collect money from students apart from what is mandatory and stipulated by the department. We have received several complaints against the school and have issued a final warning to roll back the additional amount in the fee structure or they will face action from the department. If the school is holding back the report cards,we will take action.”

Claim,counter

Despite repeated complaints by parents and a notice from the south zone education inspector,the school has refused to hand over report cards of students who are yet to make the payment,parents said.

The results were due Wednesday

Principal Sr Lovenia Almeida said,“They call us a 100

per cent-aided school. The government,however,has not disbursed non-salary grant to the school for over nine years. How are we supposed to run the school? We don’t have money so how do we print the report cards?”

south zone education inspector promises action

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