BENGALURU: Only a month after opening, the Magadi Road branch of the Orchids International School has been shut down for allegedly running without permission. Byadarahalli Police registered an FIR against Orchids International School based on a complaint by Block Education Officer (BEO) V Ramesh under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983.
According to the BEO, the school had not taken permission from the education department to run and had been illegally taking fees from parents for admissions. “Around 60 students who had been studying at the school have now been shifted to authorised schools in the vicinity and the school has been shut down,” BEO Ramesh said.
Meanwhile, police found that the school had allegedly misappropriated funds on the pretext of collecting school fees and as many as 20 cases have been registered from parents on the issue.“The school is currently under investigation, based on the complaint given by the BEO. They had also completed admissions for students,” said DCP West, Laxman Nimbargi.
The BEO had taken action against the school following several complaints from parents against the school to the education department and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for several violations, besides non-compliance of court orders.
With the school chain headquartered in Mumbai, activist parents had noticed several inconsistencies with several branches of the chain run in Bengaluru which is why they had investigated whether the school was registered, or had relevant fire safety and building safety approvals.
While parents wish to remain anonymous, Karnataka State Private School and College Parent Associations Co-Ordination Forum President B N Yoganand said this issue was commonly reported in several schools, especially those like Orchids International School.
“We as an association have been urgently asking for police to immediately arrest both the principal and secretary of the school for misappropriation of funds,” Yoganand said.
The school responded to the allegations saying that the branch had applied for all necessary permissions but had been recently rejected. "We have applied for all the necessary permissions, licences and authorisations from the state education department and we were expecting the approvals. On the basis of our ongoing construction work, and looking at our infrastructure and brand name, many parents have shown interest in enrolling their kids. It was only recently we received a rejection intimation from them due to some clarifications required and thereby we have reapplied and sought for all the approvals," the school said, responding to the issue. In the meantime, the school has said that they have redirected the parents to other branches of the school for enrollment.