After the mother of two students of St Joseph’s High School, Agripada, complained that her children are set to lose an academic year because the school allegedly delayed the issuance of their leaving certificates (LCs), the school has submitted an affidavit to the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) refuting the allegation. The school has submitted that despite constant reminders that children must maintain a minimum 75 per cent attendance, the mother paid no heed. As per the school records, while one has missed 74 days and attended only 33 classes between August 2013 to January 2014, another was absent for 87 days and attended 20 classes. The children were studying in classes V and VIII.
“Considering the rules laid down in the secondary school code, the absence of the students for a major period of the academic year, the mid-stream application of the mother to withdraw her children from the school and the fact that the final term exams are over and results published, students cannot be readmitted and permitted to appear for the final exams for the 2013-14 academic year,” said the school.
The mother, in her complaint, has alleged that as they were shifting to Pune, she requested the school to give her an LC and applied for the same on January 3 and though she made several rounds of the school, she was told each time that it was not ready. She further claimed that as the school did not issue LCs till January 23, she requested the school to allow her daughters to appear for the final exam for the 2013-14 academic year, but the school refused and issued LCs on the same day.
“The mother did make two separate applications on January 3, 2014, for issuance of LCs for her daughters. The said application was immediately processed and date of leaving was recorded as January 6, 2014 in the general register. The school clerk informed me that after the application, the mother came for the first time on January 28, 2014 and she drew up two LCs. I deny that the mother came several times for collecting the LC. I deny the allegations that every time she came to collect the LC, she met with an excuse. She was handed over the LC on the very day she visited the school office after submitting the application. I deny that the mother came to the school and met me on January 23, 2014,” says the principal.
It says that the mother was advised that if she desired readmission, she can come back in the following academic year (2014-15) and that her daughters would then be readmitted in the same standards, subject to vacancy.
In her complaint, the mother claimed that when she met the principal, the latter said, “Go to your Muslim schools, they will allow”. Denying this, the affidavit says “the disparaging remarks” were never made.