School shuts down without intimation in Warje

ST Correspondent
Sunday, 26 May 2019

Pune: The parents of 100 students studying in the Bombay Cambridge School, Warje were shocked when they received a call asking them to collect leaving certificates (LCs) of their children last week. The school has decided to shut down after seven years after its opening.

School academic head Anil Shivdasani said it had become difficult to sustain due to high rent and large number of students voluntarily exiting from school. Consequently, the management decided to shut the school.

Pune: The parents of 100 students studying in the Bombay Cambridge School, Warje were shocked when they received a call asking them to collect leaving certificates (LCs) of their children last week. The school has decided to shut down after seven years after its opening.

School academic head Anil Shivdasani said it had become difficult to sustain due to high rent and large number of students voluntarily exiting from school. Consequently, the management decided to shut the school.

The school was affiliated to two boards, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) till Std VII.

“In April, around 70 parents had sought leaving certificates. We were in a fix that if such a large number of students exit from school, then, how will we sustain. So, we conducted a meeting with parents and informed them about the situation. We had also assured all parents that even if five students are ready to continue with our school, we will be functioning from next academic year (2019-20). However, none of the parents expressed their opinion in this regard,” said Shivdasani. 

“Besides this, the increasing rent was another problem. Considering all this, the administration decided to go ahead with shutting the school 20 days ago. The procedure of giving LC is currently underway,” said Shivdasani. 

Shivdasani has claimed that being a private entity, the school can take the decision to close down. However, the school has submitted a letter to the education officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). 

Municipal officers unaware
Speaking to Sakal Times, PMC Education Officer Shivaji Daundkar said, “To the best of my knowledge, we have not come across any such letter from this school. But I will confirm after verifying the same on Monday.”

“Nevertheless, be it a private school or government, aided or non-aided school, if a school has sought permission to start, then it also needs the permission to shut down from the education officer. After we issue the notice to shut down, they can proceed,” said Daundkar.

He said as per the procedures, the school is entitled to inform about the closure to parents while giving out results of completed academic year. Further, it has to inform the education department of the PMC and provide an explanation on shutting down the school. Later, the PMC can look into students’ queries.

“If these procedures aren’t followed, the school will be held responsible for any consequences,” said Daundkar.

Unmanaged management
However, an official from the school administration, on the condition of anonymity, said that neither the staff members nor the parents had any hint of the closure. 

The summer vacations are going on right now. Several more parents are yet to be called to inform about collecting their leaving certificates, said the official.

The official said salaries of two months of teaching and non-teaching staff members were also pending, which were cleared only by Friday. 

According to a parent who hasn’t yet collected the leaving certificate said, “My son studies in Std IV affiliated to the SSC board. I got a call a couple days ago from the school. They did not give us any reason for shutting down but have asked to collect the LC. They have verbally told us that the school will help in enrolling the students to different schools. Many parents have now started looking for schools to get their children admitted.” Shivdasani said the school is making efforts to enroll the exiting students in schools near Warje. 

Parents have also said that the school management frequently kept changing the teaching staff and school principal every six months. Shivdasani agreed that this was one of the reasons why around 70 parents demanded the LC.

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