Parents to protest in city on April 9

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 5 April 2019

The parents of children studying in VIBGYOR School, NIBM Road, under the leadership of parent activist Prajakta Pethkar, who has been fighting against the school over the issue of a fee hike for several years, will protest in the city yet again.

Pune: The parents of children studying in VIBGYOR School, NIBM Road, under the leadership of parent activist Prajakta Pethkar, who has been fighting against the school over the issue of a fee hike for several years, will protest in the city yet again. This time, the protest will be also regarding the alleged arrogance of school authorities and apathy from the government officials. The protest will be carried out on April 9, outside the office of Education Director (Primary) in the city.

Pethkar had alleged that her son was expelled from the school in October 2018, claiming fake orders in the matter of the complaint that she said she had not filed. “The school claimed that it brought stay over her complaint at the Maharashtra State Commission for Child Rights (MSCPCR). However, I have never approached the commission, thus the stay was fake,” Pethkar said.

She had also alleged that when she filled a civil application in the High Court, her side was not at all heard by the judges and the verdict was in the school’s favour. The main demand by Pethkar and the protestors was that the Education Department should get the stay vacated and immediately take action against the school to preserve the child’s right to education.

While Pethkar and fellow parent activists had demanded a special counsel to be appointed to take a stand against the school, it was also denied by the Education Department.

The protest on April 9 will also protest against a writ petition 3244/2015 that was filed by the Association of International Schools, which was the root cause of the schools hiking the fees every year, and getting away with it. While Pethkar tried to pursue the State Government to challenge this petition, the parents have been told to do it on their own.

With the issues of fee hike plaguing almost every other school in the city, parents of many other schools like MIT School, Dnyanganga School, Amanora School, etc. extended their support to the parents of VIBGYOR School and will participate in the protest.

The VIBGYOR School, however, maintains that Pethkar’s allegations were ‘false and frivolous’.

A statement issued by the school said, “Pethkar was intimated well before the commencement of the Academic Year 2018-19 that the school has not granted admission to her child. The decision was made due to non-payment of fees (for the Academic Years 2016-17 and 2017-18) fixed within the limit as permitted by the Bombay High Court. The school’s decision was placed before the Hon’ble Bombay High Court wherein the State government and other authorities have been restrained from taking coercive action in this regard against the school.

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