Dombivli school trustee blames parents, says they were told about fee hike

A day after mid-day reported that 70-80 parents were protesting a fee hike by Royal International School, the trustee claimed the parents had already been informed that fees would be increased in primary section

Following a mid-day report in which parents of some students studying at Royal International School in Dombivli had expressed their displeasure at the management’s allegedly arbitrary decision to hike fees in the primary section, the school trustee claimed that parents were informed about the same in advance.

mid-day’s report on the issue yesterday
mid-day’s report on the issue yesterday

Following a mid-day report in which parents of some students studying at Royal International School in Dombivli had expressed their displeasure at the management’s allegedly arbitrary decision to hike fees in the primary section, the school trustee claimed that parents were informed about the same in advance.

Watch Video: 'Paid Rs 6 cr for school plot, will recover it from you,' trustee to parents

mid-day had reported yesterday that about 70-80 parents of children studying in primary section went up in arms against the school, alleging that the management had promised to levy a fee of Rs 20,000 till Std IV and that the current hiked fee of Rs 26,000 had not been discussed with them.

In fact, the parents had gone to the trustee’s office and recorded the conversation with him on a mobile phone camera. ‘Much ado about nothing’ When mid-day spoke to the school trustee yesterday, he claimed the brouhaha is about nothing.

Rajnikant Shah, the trustee of the school, said, “At the time of admission itself, parents were told that they will pay the same fees for pre-primary section and the fees will change in primary section and then in the secondary and higher secondary sections. While everybody else has agreed to pay the fees, only a handful of them are creating a scene.”

He added that parents were given time until April 11 to pay up fees as per the hike, and without the same they won’t entertain the students. In the video parents had recorded, Shah was also seen telling parents they could not form a Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) against the mandate laid down as per the Right to Education Act, 2009 for all schools.

He had also said that since his institution didn’t receive any grants from the state government, they were not rule-bound to adhere to their regulations. According to the draft policy of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Bill of 2011, schools can hike fees only after the approval of the PTA, and a hike can be introduced (of not more than 15 per cent) only once in two years.

Shah, however, stated that since his school is under the CBSE board, PTA is not compulsory for the school. “Why are the parents demanding a PTA when they haven’t even sought admission in the primary section yet? Once they get admission after paying the full fees, we will discuss the PTA issue,” said Shah, and immediately added that their school does have a PTA body.

Shah was also seen in the clip claiming he had paid Rs 6 crore for the school plot and would recover the amount through fees. He told this paper he had not made any such statement. Meanwhile, parents complained about this issue to the Thane primary education office on Wednesday evening. “We will look into this matter and accordingly take action,” said a senior education officer.

‘Pay fees or don’t come’
Yesterday, when parents sent their children to school for the new academic year, the school clearly told all students who haven’t paid the full fees to not show up until they pay the full fees.

“The school had informed school bus attendants to not allow kids on the bus who have not paid the full fees. So parents had to drop their kids off at the school, where they allowed our children to go. We have paid the fees for two months as per the old fee structure,” said one of the parents.

Parents stated that after school authorities found that children who are yet to pay full fees had been allowed to enter class, strict instructions were given to the students as well as teachers that they should not be allowed inside the school premises today onwards.

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