School detains 6-year-old girl for 2 hours for not paying Rs 1,700 fee

Imtiaz Sheikh’s refusal to pay miscellaneous fees landed his Std I daughter in hot water. On Friday, authorities from St Clare’s Girls High School kept her back for two hours and informed the parents that they would let her go only after he paid the amount; a furious Sheikh has filed a police complaint and has also written to the education authorities about the incident

A STD I student was made to undergo a traumatising punishment when her school detained her for no reason. Her father alleged that she was held back over unpaid fees.

In detention: The authorities from St Clare’s Girls High School held back the student from 9 am to 11 am on Friday. Pic/Mohan Patil

In a shocking incident on Friday, a Std I student of St Clare’s Girls High School in Quarter Gate area was kept back in school after her father refused to pay an additional fee of Rs 1,700, which the school asked in the way of miscellaneous expenses.

The girl’s father, Imtiaz Saeej Sheikh, said that he was so shocked by the school’s behaviour that he filed a complaint at the Samarth police station. He has also written a letter to the primary education officer of the Zilla Parishad.

The ordeal
Sheikh, a resident of Guruwar Peth, told mid-day, “On Friday, my daughter’s school got over at 9 am owing to examinations. I got a call from her school telling me that if I didn’t pay the fees they would detain my daughter. Later, the auto driver who drops and picks her from school told me that the authorities had not let my daughter go and had told him to tell me that they wouldn’t do so till I paid the fees. Enraged at this, I personally went to the school and brought her home.”

Sheikh added that once he went to the school, he spoke to the principal and also argued with her. It was only after the argument that he managed to bring her home. He added, “For the last three years, my daughter has been studying at St Clare’s High School and each year, the school increases its fees. Additionally, they also ask parents to pay an additional amount calling it miscellaneous expenses. This year, they asked me to pay Rs 1,700 but I refused to do so. Only after my refusal did they punish my daughter.”

Enraged at the torture and mental trauma his daughter underwent, Sheikh also sought the help of an NGO called Shikshan Hakka Manch. He additionally, went to Samarth police station and filed a complaint against the school for holding his daughter back for two hours.

Matin Mujawar, head of Shikshan Hakka Manch, also voiced his outrage. “The case is a clear cut violation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. It is also a violation under the Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act,” said Mujawar.

He added, “I have demanded that the school records of the last 10 years be checked and the bank accounts also looked into, as it is possible that the institution might be charging illegal fees.”

Police speak

Inspector DA Patil of Samarth police station said, “One of my officials is investigating the case. Prima face, it is a non-cognisable offence. If the parents do feel there are irregularities in the school’s fee structure, I advise him to approach the education department.”

The other side
A teacher from the school, on the condition of anonymity, said she was aware of the incident.
But as the matter was related to fees, it was a management issue and she could not comment on it. Despite our repeated attempts to contact the principal of the school, Sister Kripa remained unavailable.

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