THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The recent directives from the High Court and the state government seem to have had no effect on unaided schools which continue to fleece parents with impunity and violate admission byelaws of national boards such as CBSE, even in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
Last week, TNIE had reported how a few CBSE-affiliated schools were sending messages to parents regarding admission to Class XI even before the announcement of the Class X results. It is now learnt that one such school in the capital, which initially cancelled the illegal admission process, later went ahead and admitted students to Class XI in a clandestine manner.
“After sending out an SMS cancelling the scheduled interview for admission to Class XI, the school later called parents one by one on the phone and carried out the admission. This is in gross violation of the CBSE byelaws on admission. What’s more shocking was the huge hike in fees that was effected this year,” said a parent on condition of anonymity.
For instance, a student seeking admission to Class XI in Maths and Computer group was asked to pay nearly Rs 53,000 as annual fee as against Rs 35,000 charged last year. “I was asked to pay a total of Rs 16,500 as building fees and development fees. This despite paying Rs 8,000 as PTA contribution when my child joined the school a decade ago,” said the parent.
Many schools have begun treating Class XI as a fresh admission altogether to earn the extra buck even from students who studied in the same school. For parents who have two or more children studying in the school, the steep hike is unbearable. More so at a time when various organisations have cut down salaries citing the Covid-19 crisis.
Some of the parents are planning to approach the CBSE with complaints against such schools. But they are also fearful of vindictive action from school managements during the time of admission of their children. “There is a proper grievance redressal mechanism which can be utilised by the stakeholders concerned. If such actions are found to be violative of the CBSE byelaws, strict action will be taken," said Sachin Thakur, CBSE Regional Officer, Kerala and Lakshadweep.
A few CBSE schools also facilitate sale of textbooks and stationery on their premises. Most of the textbooks are grossly overpriced than the NCERT books. This despite the CBSE advising schools not to indulge in any commercial activity by way of selling books, stationery, uniforms and school bags. There are also complaints that teachers are not being paid salary on the grounds that online instruction being imparted right now does not require the same manpower as in a normal classroom environment.