Parents of students of a Borivli school have been landed a massive body blow. They recently received a circular from St Francis School that karate has been mandatory for students of Std III-VI for a fee of at least Rs 2,000 each. Agitated parents reached the school on Thursday to question the school management, but the principal allegedly refused to meet them. They have now decided to approach the deputy director of education, requesting intervention.
Since the circular stated that the karate classes would be held on Thursdays, some students of St Francis School in Borivli came dressed for the part yesterday
Charging fees under various heads is termed inappropriate under the Capitation Fee Act, 1988. But several schools have thrown the rule book out of the window. “The school can offer any extracurricular activity, but why should it be made mandatory? My son has been training in karate since he was in Std II. Why should I pay the school for the same lessons? Many may not be interested in learning karate at all. Why force them?” asked a parent. Many parents alleged that the school administration imposes similar mandates every other year.
The circular (a copy of which is with mid-day) was issued on July 1, stating that a meeting of the parents-teachers association’s core committee held a day earlier had decided to introduce karate in the curriculum for Std III-VI. Accordingly, school authorities asked parents to deposit a coaching fee of Rs 1,440 by July 9. “The uniform will be provided by the coach by paying Rs 600 for Std III-IV, and R700 for Std V-VI,” the circular added.
PTA members, however, denied that any such discussion was organised.
According to the circular, karate classes will be held every Thursday. Principal Brother Wilfred Monteiro said, “Considering that self-defence is the need of the hour, we have introduced karate coaching. The decision was taken after consultation with the core committee of the PTA. Only a handful of parents are against it.”
Brother Wilfred Monteiro principal, St Francis School
Students and parents are appreciating the move to make karate a mandatory subject in the school. In fact, many of them have already made payments.