Mumbai: School charges second admission fee for KG to Std I

Students risk losing a year as parents lock horns with RBK School for demanding R5k admission fee for kids promoted to Std I as they had already paid Rs 25k three years ago

Some students of senior KG, who have just completed their academic year, face a possibility of losing an academic year as their parents and school are at loggerheads over admission fee. While Mira Road’s RBK School has asked parents of students who are being promoted to Std I to deposit Rs 5,000 admission fee again, the parents claim that they had already paid Rs 25,000 three years ago while admitting their child into the school.

Parents show mid-day the letters they had sent to the school, the education department and the board
Parents show mid-day the letters they had sent to the school, the education department and the board

The worried parents have written letters to the state education department and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, which the school is affiliated to, but have not got any response.

“We had paid the admission fee when we admitted our child in nursery of this school three years ago. Now, why do we have to pay that again? When we ask the school about this, the management claims the kindergarten is run by a different organisation but we see all students with same identity cards and the classes are also held in the same premises,” said a parent.

Another parent added, “When we started asking questions, the school threatened to issue a school leaving certificate in our child’s name. They have already charged us Rs 500 for admission forms. It took us some time to get all parents together against the school after being subjected to such threats.” These parents met on Sunday and decided to fight against this demand. They also plan to move court against the school for such harassment.

Year at stake
“When in ICSE schools new academic sessions begin in April, this school has changed its timetable so much that their pre-primary section’s academic year ended on Tuesday. But they had set last day for payment of fee as March 15. Parents were sent SMSes that if they failed to pay the fee, their child’s seat will be gone. This scared a few parents who paid the fee but all of us, who are fighting, are worried about our ward’s future,” added another parent. These parents had approached the state education department and the ICSE board last week but haven’t heard anything.

Another ‘irregularity’
The school also charges mandatory ‘professional sports’ fee, but the parents claim there is nothing professional about it. “There is no assigned time for it and every class gets two hours in a week for sports, when they are left to play on their own. Moreover, if they wish to be trained by a private coach on weekends, they have to pay additional fee,” said a parent.

School says
Meeta Nigam, the school’s headmistress, told mid-day, “We are not doing anything that is not correct. Whatever fee is being charged has been consented by the Parent Teacher’s Association of the school.”

When mid-day questioned the school’s principal, Nalini Shetty, she said, “The pre-primary and the primary sections are different entities and that is why we take the fee again.”

About the mandatory sports fee, Shetty said, “This started because parents asked for it. If they want, we can stop it but nobody has approached me for it.”

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