200 students allege Mumbai school cheated them of Rs 2,000 each

A group of 200 students claim that a Chembur school, allotted as their exam centre for the 2015 SSC board exams, charged them for extra study material and classes that were never provided

As many as 200 students, who will be appearing for the March 2015 SSC board examinations privately, have alleged that a school in Chembur has duped them of Rs 2,000. The school, which was allotted as their exam centre, asked them each to pay the amount to be eligible for the board exams, claimed the students.

After a month of waiting for the school to deliver on its promise of extra classes and study material, the group of 200 students finally took matters in their own hands on Friday, staging a protest outside the school, and filing a police complaint in the matter as well
After a month of waiting for the school to deliver on its promise of extra classes and study material, the group of 200 students finally took matters in their own hands on Friday, staging a protest outside the school, and filing a police complaint in the matter as well

The group of students had submitted their applications to the divisional board office in Vashi six months ago, along with the required Form 17, to appear for board exams as private students. They were then informed that their centre was Vinod Shukla High School in Chembur.

“We had submitted our forms at the board office and already paid Rs 1,100 in fees. After approaching the school, we were all asked to once again pay Rs 2,000 as part of the application process,” said Wasim Sheikh, one of the students.

According to the board rules, students who wish to appear for the exams privately, have to first register with the board, which then informs them about their centre. Most examination centres charge a nominal fee from students for conducting examinations, usually in the range of Rs 150 to Rs 250.

In fact, according to the principal of another Chembur school, many schools have stopped charging money, “as all the material comes from the board itself, and all we provide is our school to conduct the exam”. The students said that although they were shocked at the steep fees, they agreed to pay anyway.

“We gave the money because we didn’t want to lose a year. We were also told that the school will give us some extra study material, which we have not yet got,” said a student. Exactly a month has passed since the students paid the centre fees on October 28, and the promised study material is yet to be distributed.

Fed up of waiting and feeling cheated, the students staged a protest outside the school yesterday, with the help of social group Manav Vatsalya Foundation. “Most of these students come from very poor backgrounds. Some are working to support their family as well as their own education.

It is unfair that they have to pay such a huge amount,” said Naresh Kurapati, from the foundation. The group has also submitted a written complaint letter to Chembur police station.

The other side
S Upadhaya, vice-principal of Vinod Shukla High School, stated that the amount was charged for the “services” that would be provided by the school management. “Schools that conduct board exams for private candidates charge money for services that students will be provided with.

We have to pay our peons and teachers extra money for conducting exams, and our electricity will be used as well,” said Upadhaya. He added that the school will conduct extra classes for the students and will provide them with study material soon.

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