Schools should charge fees commensurate with grades obtained: Kerala Child Rights Panel
The petitioner stated that her child was not allowed to attend the school’s online course.
The Kerala State Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child has stated that if a child interrupts his studies halfway through a state school, the institution should only charge the amount commensurate with the time. that the child studied there and reimburse the rest of the money charged by it. under any circumstances at the time of admission for the period up to the end of school education.
Acting on a petition from a woman from the Thrissur district, the members’ commission Fr. Philip Parakatt and K. Nazeer on Thursday asked the director of general education, the regional agent of the CBSE, as well as the director general and secretary of the CISCE to issue circulars to schools asking them to follow the panel’s instructions.
The petitioner said her child was admitted to LKG at a school in Thrissur in 2019-2020. When she entered Class 1 this year on the first day of the school year, she was not allowed to attend the online course by the school, much to her mental anguish. When contacted, the school cited a shortfall of 1,500 in fees paid earlier. The petitioner said that as a result of COVID-19, her husband lost his job and also suffered an accident, resulting in a delay in paying the fees.
She again approached the commission to ask for steps to be taken to obtain a transfer certificate for her daughter who did not want to continue in school and the 25,000,000 paid at the time of admission to the school.
In an online hearing, the school principal said that because the petitioner did not collect her child’s progress report, it was assumed that the child would not continue to school and that the online link had been interrupted. The transfer certificate could be issued immediately, but when 25,000 returned, he could not say anything without instructions from the school administration.
The commission stated that according to section 5 (3) of the Right to Education Act (RTE), if a child seeking admission to another school applies for a transfer certificate, the child must be provided without delay. Accordingly, the principal must provide the transfer certificate upon receipt of the applicant’s request.
The principal also said that the 25,000 was collected as headmaster’s fees and that no poll fees were charged. Since the school had classes until grade 12, if the child continued to study there, no further establishment tax would have to be paid.
The committee observed that it was clear that 25,000 was a stipulated sum for continuing training up to grade 12. In accordance with article 13 of the RTE law, no poll tax should be levied at the time of admission to school. Since the petitioner’s child had only completed UKG, the headmaster was not entitled to receive anything other than the amount commensurate with the marks obtained, and the rest should be returned to the petitioner.