Mumbai: Parents get legal notice for protesting fee hike

The Dadar school has asked the parents to withdraw their complaint and issue a public apology

The parents of two students of Dadar’s Indian Education Society’s kindergarten have been sent a legal notice by the management, for protesting against a fee hike. Even as it is over a week since the new academic year began, admissions of their children to Std I will depend on their response to the notice. The school denies any victimisation of parents.

Srawani Kirtane shows the legal notice she and Ganesh Rane (right) received. Their two children’s admissions will be subject to their response to it. Pic/Atul Kamble
Srawani Kirtane shows the legal notice she and Ganesh Rane (right) received. Their two children’s admissions will be subject to their response to it. Pic/Atul Kamble

The row over the fee hike at the IES School in Hindu Colony has been going on for some time now. The fees of the primary section have almost been doubled from Rs 24,000 to Rs 42,000. While the fee amount is under inquiry by the state education officer following parents’ complaints, the new academic year has begun with the hiked amount subject to change, as per the order of the inquiry. Saturday, June 18, was the last day for payment of fees. But the school has not let parents Srawani Kirtane and Ganesh Rane pay fees until they respond to the legal notice sent to them. The parents have alleged that it is because they spearheaded the fight against school’s exorbitant fee hike, the management is targeting them and in turn their children are getting affected. Their children are progressing from kindergarten to primary section of the school.

“Responding to the legal notice is not a quick affair. It might take time. Moreover, if the argument is between us and the school management, children’s education should not be brought into it,” said Kirtane.

Ganesh Rane said, “I have not received the notice because when it arrived at my house I was not present there. But it is inappropriate. This is victimisation.”

Management speak
Denying all the allegations, a trustee of the IES institute, Satish Naik said, “Nobody is being targeted. The parents were sent legal notices because they have misused the school’s name. They are calling themselves Padmakar Dhamdhere English Medium School Parents’ Forum (the name of the primary school where the kids will go), whereas their wards are just entering the primary, which is a separate school though under the same management. This is inappropriate, and we have legal opinion on it. Hence, the parents were sent a legal notice. And their wards’ admissions will be subject to their response. Instead of responding to the notice, these parents are approaching
the media.”

When questioned how children can be removed from the school, as the Right To Education (RTE) Act does not permit it under any circumstances; Naik responded, “They can go to a school opposite our school if they have such a problem over fees. All other parents have started paying fees. But these parents are not paying fees and are spreading messages among other parents, instigating them not to pay. They are misguiding other parents.”

The notice
‘You have abetted and instigated several parents, by completely misleading and misguiding them, to protest against the fees which have been finalized and notified under strict compliance of the Act of 2011. Due to your instigation and acting under your advice, several parents have not completed the admission procedure for their children for the Class I. In addition, you raised several blatantly false issues by misrepresenting facts’.

The notice goes on to ask the parents to withdraw their complaint from the office of the education officer and issue a public apology.

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