Parents of students in SIWS school claim no one cleans them up when they go to the loo, teachers thrash them and threaten to fail them, even pull their pants down as punishment, and bus cleaners kiss kids inappropriately
A slew of disturbing allegations have been levelled against staff and faculty of the junior and senior kindergarten sections of the South Indian Welfare Society (SIWS) School in Wadala. These include allegations that a helper detained a child in the toilet for 45 minutes, till her guardian came, not only to clean her up, but also the cubicle which she had used to defecate.
School of horrors: Parents allege that a five-year-old child was made
to wait for 45 minutes in the loo till her guardian came to wipe her.
Other macabre complaints have cropped up, including one that blames teachers of punishing students by making them stand with their pants down, beating them up, and threatening them. School bus cleaners have allegedly been 'kissing' the kids inappropriately. The complaints were lodged in a letter sent in by parents to the general secretary of the SIWS School in Wadala.
Around 10.30 am yesterday, a group of parents stormed the school grounds while the institution's General Secretary was holding a meeting, and placed the letter before him. He then summoned the headmistress and other administrators.
In their letter, parents complained that a tot, after she defecated, was made to sit in the toilet till her mother came down to clean up. In other incidents, their pants were being removed by force as punishment. More outrageous still, the kids are allegedly being thrashed by teachers and helpers, who then threaten them with fail marks if they breathe a word of the corporal punishment to their parents.
The complaint mentions that because of the punishments meted out, traumatised students are not performing well at academics. And the list goes on. Allegedly, no revision work is done with students in divisions A and C class of kindergarten.
The furious parents urged the General Secretary Dr KM Venkatesh check notebooks of the students in these divisions to look for sign of revision work. The parents also claimed that though the KG school timings are 2 pm to 5 pm, the school bus often came to pick up students at 2.30 or as late as 3 pm at times.
More shocking still, the letter (copy with MiD DAY) mentions that the bus cleaner, instead of ensuring the safety of children as they boarded and dismounted, was busy "kissing" them inappropriately. The parents claimed that they had refrained from complaining earlier as they were worried that their children would have to bear the brunt.
Sushila Kadam (names changed), parent to a KG student in the school, said, "The child sat inside the toilet for a long time without being cleaned by the aya or helper. She was traumatised by the experience. She was not comfortable when she went to school the next day." Reeta Pai said, "The bus cleaner kisses the kids. The teachers and helpers terrorise them, saying they will be failed in their exams."
Sameer Dalwai, director of New Horizon Child Development Center and development paediatrician, said, "Unfortunately, children have never received adequate training in matters of child psychology and development. The law bans all kinds of corporal punishment. Insulting and neglecting a child can have a huge psychological impact."
Annual fees at SIWS kindergarten
Number of students in the school's KG section in Wadala
The Other Side
Dr K M Venkatesh, general secretary, SIWS, said, "I had a meeting with the parents today and have jotted down all their problems. Our students are like our children and we will never let anything happen to them. A committee will be formed to enquire into the matter, and appropriate action will be taken to address the complaints. Our headmistress is new, and she is somewhat lenient with the staff." B Ganga, headmistress of the pre-primary section, said, "I was present at the meeting. I have told my secretary where the problems lie, and we will take appropriate action. Some of our helpers are rude and our secretary will deal with it. Pants have not been pulled off students in my tenure of 11 months. The cleaner refused to clean the child when she defecated."