Published: 23rd December 2021
Bengaluru private school accused of punishing students for non-payment of fees by making them stand on the terrace. What really happened?
The school has also said that they have had to slash teachers' salaries in order to make up the resources, and that there has been no relief from the government either
Alleging that students of Amaravani High School had been punished for non-payment of fees, several parents were involved in an altercation with the school management. The management, however, has stated that the allegations are untrue, and that the parents haven't paid fees since 2019.
On Tuesday, around 40 parents protested outside Amaravani High School, Basaveshwara Nagar, claiming that the school had taken students out of their classes on Monday and left them on the school terrace. They also alleged that a few children had fallen ill due to exposure to the sun. The reason for the alleged punishment was non-payment of fees, that the parents claim they were not informed about.
However, school principal Venkatesh Reddy said the students were informed about the fees and were not punished. “Parents have not paid school fees since 2019, despite multiple requests to do so, so on Monday we gathered students whose fees hadn’t been paid, and asked them to inform their parents. Our school doesn’t have a terrace, there is no way students can be taken up as there are no stairs, these allegations are false," he told TNIE.
The school had apparently lowered fees multiple times to help parents and is now at an all-time low. “The number of students being admitted annually is very low and almost all of the fee cost is going towards procuring books and uniforms for the children. We’ve also reduced teachers' salaries in the past few months because the situation is very bad,” Reddy told TNIE.
In addition, he said there has been no compensation or relief from the government, despite protests for help during the pandemic. “We had asked parents to pay the fees, and also told them that if a lump sum is not possible, they can pay in monthly installments, but the school cannot function if fees are not paid,” he said.
Following the protest, the school has given parents another month's extension for payment of fees. The Department of Public Instruction submitted a report to the Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Bengaluru North, Narayana. “An investigation is underway as to what exactly has happened and action will be taken accordingly,” said Block Education Officer V Ramesh.