Agripada school students get leaving certificates, parents demand principal's suspension
Three days after the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) raided St Joseph’s Girls High School in Agripada, no action has been taken against the school principal and clerk. On Monday, parents and an activist wrote to Education Minister Rajendra Darda, demanding that the principal and clerk be suspended till the inquiry is finished.
mid-day reports on the matter
“For years together, the principal has forced parents to pay money in the name of ‘development’. She has held students to ransom and put them under a lot of stress in order to get money. Now they’ve been caught red-handed, and it’s unfair that no action has been taken yet against them,” said one of the parents.
On Monday, all SSC students who had earlier been denied their school leaving certificates received the documents, without paying any money. mid-day had first reported about the school’s demand for the fee in lieu of students using the facilities of the institution.
Students who refused to pay the fee were told they wouldn’t be given their mark-sheets and school-leaving certificates, which are vital for admissions to junior colleges. Parents, with help from student unions, had managed to wrench out the mark-sheets from the institution on June 25, by bringing the matter to the notice of education officials who directed the principal to hand over the documents.
However, the authorities had still withheld the school-leaving certificates. This paper had also reported on the raid by ACB officials on June 26, after parents contacted them for help for the second document. In the raid, a plainclothes ACB official accompanied a parent at the time the latter had to pay up to get the document. Parents informed officials that those who had forked out the money were being given unofficial slips bearing a Kamathipura address.
“The school clerk was caught red-handed demanding money and providing receipts that don’t even belong to the school. How can they not be arrested?” said another parent. While ACB officials are still seeking legal opinion as well as inputs from the education department before making any arrests, the education department is not taking any action either.
“We sent warnings to the school before the ACB raid, stating very clearly to the management that they cannot charge money from parents under these heads. Now that the ACB has started their inquiry, we will wait for their report,” said B B Chauhan, education inspector. Students, meanwhile, were a relieved lot as they could now apply to junior colleges. There are 150 students who have passed the SSC exam from this school.