Hon’ble Smt. Smriti Irani
Government of India
Shastri Bhavan New Delhi-110001
Sub: Prohibit private schools from targeting students for recovering school-fee
Times of India 17.12.2014 has reported a shocking incident from Bareilly, U.P. wherein a school Principal beat the seven-year-old upper KG student to death over parents’ failure to deposit the school fee. Not stopping at that he then flung the body on the highway. The report states, “The Principal of DSR Public School in Rath (Deorania), Avinash Saraswat thrashed Mohd. Aaraj as his parents had not been able to pay the Rs.4,500 that was due to the school.”
This is certainly not a stray incident of a student being tortured by the school for non-payment of fee, however the above case is marked by its gravity. The practice of targeting the tender-aged students as means to pressurize the parents to pay fee is quite commonplace in private schools. Students are often singled out and humiliated in class, given reminders and warnings through their school-diaries, beaten up, made to stand outside the class or at the reception or sent back home for non-payment of fee by their parents.
This pernicious practice clearly has a grave impact upon the psychology of tender-aged students and besides affecting their studies, also affects their over-all state of mind and well-being. It reflects an absolutely anti-child, unethical and insensitive approach.
School-fee is a matter between the parents and the school and therefore, the students should not be brought into picture. In case a school has any grievance regarding fee, it should deal directly with the parents. The practice of targeting students in this regard by the schools goes against the ‘best interest of the child’ principle and needs to be prohibited on an urgent basis.
It is therefore requested that in the interest of students, guidelines be issued to all the private schools in the country thereby mandating all the private schools to deal directly with the parents regarding school fee without targeting the students in any manner. School’s failure to comply with such guidelines should entail serious penal consequences.
National President, AIPA