JAIPUR: A private school has allegedly sent legal notices to more than a dozen students for non-payment of fees for eight years in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district. The notice stated that if the fees is not paid within 15 days, legal action will be taken.
The parents said that the students are from Economically Weaker Section ( EWS ) families, were admitted to the school under Right to Education (RTE). But the school authorities said the admissions were not under RTE and the parents kept delaying payment of fees.
The Sylvan English Academy in Bikaner asked Manoj Panwar, father of Jayvardhan Singh, studying in class 5th, to pay 10,200 rupees as nursery fees and a total of 1,17, 520 Rupees as fees till class 5th.
The legal notice stated that this amount is due and should be paid in the next 15 days. After the RTE act was passed, the Government has directed all private schools to keep 25 per cent seats for the children from poor background. The fees for such children is borne by the education department."The State Government has not reimbursed tuition fee of these students and therefore they cannot be considered as RTE students,” the legal notice said.
Manoj Panwar, father of Jayvardhan, said that he applied for RTE in 2012-13. “After fulfilling the formalities described in the act, I was granted admission for my son. A few days ago the school made a note in my son’s dairy about dues of eight years and now served me a legal notice demanding fees over 1 lakh,” he said. Panwar said when he objected to this, the school told him to pay the fee or face legal consequences.
This was asked through a legal notice and a failure to pay will result in a court case.
The other parents also say that they are very poor and if their children had not admission under the RTE, then they would have never applied for this school. The Principal of the school, Suneeta Taneja states that they hadn’t demanded a fee from any student admitted under the EWS category. “These parents were told that their wards were not selected as RTE beneficiaries. The school administration had been asking them to pay dues and they have been promising to pay,” said Sunita.
The parents also ask that if the school is not getting the money under the RTE from the government, what is their fault in this and why was the management quiet about it till now? "It wasn't just the legal notice but the parents have constantly been informed through the diary notes and other notes in copies. But they have hidden them so that no evidence can be found and that is why the notice was sent", Sunita Taneja said.
The news has now reached the Education Department and it has asked for an inquiry into the issue. "I have ordered an inquiry into the case to examine the facts and assured the parents that no schools will be permitted to charge any undue sum from the parents till the matter is fully investigated," said Nathmal Didel, director of secondary education in Rajasthan.