Parents miffed as kids are 'banned' from school bus
Relatives claim that over 50 children were barred from boarding the bus of an Airoli school on first day of academic session over unresolved fee hike issue; accuse school management of breaking promise
The tiff between the parents and the management of Airoli’s New Horizon Scholars School and Neo Kids (CBSE), over the bus and tuition fee hike for the new academic year seems to be going from bad to worse.
Some of the parents alleged that yesterday their children were not allowed to board the school bus. The school has students coming from far off places like Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and Ghansoli, who use the bus service. Parents claimed that over 50 kids were stopped from boarding the bus.
The school management had hiked the bus fees by 25 per cent for the current academic year, which a few parents had objected to in the past. On March 28, a group of parents marched into the cabin of a senior management official, demanding that either the decision be reversed or the hiked fee be revised.
When they refused to pay the first instalment of the bus fee, management officials asked the parents to fill up a form stating that their kids would be ferried to school by the bus even though they are yet to disburse the money.
“The parents and the management arrived at a consensus that our kids would be transported on the first day of school (April 2, 2013) by the school bus, and that we could pay the first instalment or the revised fee at a meeting on a later date, depending on the outcome of the discussion.
Despite this assurance, the management failed to live up its promise,” a parent said. Most of the parents were reluctant to come on record, as they felt this could adversely affect their child’s academic career. Another parent, whose child boards the bus from Thane, said the management has been hiking the fee on a regular basis since the inception of the school.
“If we have already paid the fee till May 2013, then how can they disallow our kids from boarding the bus from April itself?” he asked. Soon after their kids were not allowed into the bus from the regular boarding points, parents rushed to the school along with their children.
“We were shocked when the bus did not halt at the stop. We had no option but to rush our children to school on our own, as classes start at 7.45 am. We didn’t want them to miss the first day of the new academic year. The bus attendant said he would not allow those students to board the bus, whose parents haven’t paid the first instalment. This happened despite receiving an assurance from the management,” said another parent.
Rubbishing the claims made by the parents, management officials tried to justify the 25 per cent hike by citing inflation. When asked how many children were disallowed from boarding the bus, principal Dr Jyoti Nair claimed that only 12 kids were stopped.
“Many of the students who were not picked up from their regular boarding spots were the ones whose parents had not filled the bus forms. We are aware that there were a few who were not picked up despite their parents filling the form. The issue has been brought to our notice and will be resolved shortly,” Nair said. The school management has planned to meet all the parents on April 13 to decide the future course of action.