Parents seem to have a lot to complain about after the new branch of the reputed Podar International School opened in the city six months ago. Lack of a playground, absence of a set syllabus, lack of coordination were just a few of the problems they listed. The school management alleged that these were all teething problems. The parents finally met the school principal on Friday to sort out their issues, and are content by the response.
Complaints against the school
Podar International School, which started its new branch in Powai in June this year, managed to attract a huge crowd from neighbouring schools. “I pulled my child out of another school in the vicinity to gain admission here. In the entire first semester, the children here had no lessons in grammar, which is shocking,” said one of the parents, on condition of anonymity. She added that parents had regularly voiced their concern to class teachers as well as the school principal, but received little in response. “Schools can have teething problems but what is not acceptable is the closed-door approach of the school principal, who refused to meet parents in a group and only agreed to meet each one individually,” added another parent.
While academics was a major concern, what left most parents angry was the manner in which the school recently conducted the annual sports day, in the first week of December. “Children of all ages were made to stay for more than eight hours at the sports venue and by the time parents were called to pick up their respective kids, the younger ones could not handle the stress and almost five kids from Class I fell ill. A couple of them also had to be hospitalised for a day,” said a parent. Many parents were also unhappy about paying Rs 10,000 to the school in the name of annual sports fee at a time when the school doesn't have a designated playground. The school is now preparing students for their annual day to be held at a hall in Sion in January next year.
After repeated attempts, parents finally approached the school management on Friday. The school director, Vandana Lulla, said the meeting was conducted with the parents and school principal, in her presence. “A curriculum and research team designed the curriculum. It has been implemented in over 100 schools across the country. Parents also have access to the syllabus online,” said Lulla. She stated that other issues, including co-curricular activities, were patiently heard out by the management. Parents were also unhappy with the long work hours devoted for the upcoming annual day, which the management readily agreed to cut short for the benefit of children. “It was only a few who had some concerns, and we patiently heard them out. There were complaints regarding the unavailability of the school principal but we clarified that the prinicipal had genuinly been busy. She has made it very clear that she is always open for a discussion,” said Lulla.
One of the parents told sunday mid-day, “We discussed all the issues we had, including our problem withthe annual day timings. The school had earlier mentioned that students should report to school at 9 am while the event begins at 2:30 pm. Now the management has said that the students can come directly at 1 pm instead.”