NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked states to issue directives to private schools to not harass students over delay in or non-payment of tuition fee and other charges and instead deal with parents on financial issues.
The commission said the advisory was issued following “reported cases of suicidal deaths of school students due to harassment for non-payment of school fee and discriminative behaviour by school authorities.”
Earlier this month, a 14-year-old student of a private school in Hyderabad committed suicide after the school expelled her over non-payment of tuition fee. “They didn’t allow me to write the exam. Sorry, mom,” the girl’s suicide letter, which was found by the police, said. A few days later, a video showing a teacher thrashing a student in another school in the city over delay in payment of fee surfaced on social media, sparking public outrage.
Late last year, a case of a teenager in Pilibhit, UP, ending her life after being repeatedly humiliated in school over non-payment of dues had come to light and a similar case was reported from Punjab .
“We had to take this step as disturbing cases of children being shamed, punished and harassed have been brought to our attention and sadly, in some cases, have even led to suicides of children,” NCPCR member Priyank Kanoongo said.
“This is totally unacceptable and we felt the need to nudge the states to intervene in the matter and reprimand private schools.” “These are matters of grave concern,” wrote the child rights body in the letter addressed to state chief secretaries.
“The Commission has been receiving numerous complaints from all over the country where children are being harassed by the schools,” the letter said, and reminded that this was a gross violation of Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 of which the NCPCR is monitoring authority.