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Special child expelled from Mumbai school for failing Class IX twice

While the parents, who have dragged the school to court, call the decision unfair, school says they are only following the rules. Court orders the institution to take the student back till final order is announced

A suburban school has come under the scanner after expelling a Class IX student with Down’s Syndrome because he failed the exams twice. Parents of this student have dragged the management of IES Manik Vidyamandir School in Bandra West to the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR). “Twelve years ago, the school admitted my son, knowing his condition. He has done very well so far, but because he failed in Class IX twice, they want to expel him,” said the student’s mother.

IES Manik Vidyamandir School child
The child is a student of IES Manik Vidyamandir School in Bandra West. Pic forrepresentational purposes only

The case came up for hearing on Saturday at the commission. While the school representative was missing, the student’s parents and personal counsellor were present. “They called us to inform us that our son has been expelled. The leaving certificate was later posted to our residential address, after we refused to pick it up,” she added.

No third chance
According to the complaint, the child, who was admitted to the school in the year 2003, repeated Class IX twice — in 2013-14 and in 2014-15. The leaving certificate mentions this as the reason for expulsion. However, the parents have a different version. “Last year, we requested the school to detain our son because we felt he was not ready for Class X. This year, he failed in his exams. Now, the school is using this as an excuse to expel our son,” said the mother.

While the school counsellor stated that the child was not fit to study in a regular school, the parents presented the version of their family counsellor, who is well-acquainted with the child’s case. “His IQ is very good and he is fit to study in a regular school,” the counsellor said. “It is only fair that he complete his education from this school and not be expelled on such frivolous grounds,” said the mother.

The other side
The school trustee spoke to sunday mid-day and said that they have only followed the rules. “No school accepts requests by parents to detain a child in the same class. He was expelled as per the Secondary School Code because he failed in Class IX twice. He was expelled to let him move to an environment, which is feasible and helpful to the child,” said Satish Lotlikar, the school trustee. He added that the school will make an appeal at the commission on Monday. The commission secretary AN Tripathi has directed the school to take back the child for the time being and wait for the final order. “A decision will be taken keeping the child’s best interests in mind,” he said.

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