Sunday, 15 May 2016

School writes ‘fee defaulter’ on student answer sheets, earns HC committee ire

School writes ‘fee defaulter’ on student answer sheets, earns HC committee ire

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana | Updated: March 9, 2016 4:17 pm

The committee made the ruling on February 29, on a complaint filed by the parents association led by in 2014, after the teachers wrote the remark on the students' answer sheets 


Ludhiana: A committee formed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court has slammed a private unaided school in Ludhiana which wrote ‘fee defaulter’ remarks on answer sheets of students, whose parents had refused to pay tuition fee that had been hiked beyond the 10 per cent a year, as permitted by it. The fee committee for the private unaided schools, chaired by Justice Amar Dutt (retd), has also ordered the Bal Bharti Public School, Ludhiana, to refund the ‘excess fee’ it has taken from parents.

The committee made the ruling on February 29, on a complaint filed by the parents association led by Inderpal Singh Chawla in 2014, after the ‘Fee Defaulter’ remark was written by the teachers on answer sheets of the students.

Schools becoming richer at the cost of students: HC committee reportFee hike: Team inspects Bal Bharti Public School School fee hike: DC pulls up 2 private schoolsCourt allows pvt unaided schools to fix fee structureWill you take 10 yrs to decide on fee hike,HC asks stateDelhi HC allows private unaided schools to hike feeSchools becoming richer at the cost of students: HC committee reportFee hike: Team inspects Bal Bharti Public School School fee hike: DC pulls up 2 private schoolsCourt allows pvt unaided schools to fix fee structureWill you take 10 yrs to decide on fee hike,HC asks stateDelhi HC allows private unaided schools to hike feeSchools becoming richer at the cost of students: HC committee reportFee hike: Team inspects Bal Bharti Public School School fee hike: DC pulls up 2 private schoolsCourt allows pvt unaided schools to fix fee structureWill you take 10 yrs to decide on fee hike,HC asks stateDelhi HC allows private unaided schools to hike fee

“It is clear that children were humiliated after it was indicated on their answer sheets that they were fee defaulters. In this manner, the school is resorting to publicly admonishing the child which has an extremely dangerous impact on the mind of the child. The school has not denied the allegation but argued that issue of behaviour towards student is not in the purview of the committee. But the committee is of the view that such admonishing, derogatory and discriminating behaviour adopted by the school towards the tender age students does reduce the quality of education,” the high court-appointed panel has ruled.

Defending its fee defaulter remark, the school in its reply had argued that its behaviour with students does not fall under the purview of the fee committee. But to this, the committee noted that any act which degrades the quality of education does fall in its jurisdiction and that acts which demoralise students cannot be allowed.

According to the complaint, the school had increased annual charges by 40 per cent, from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000, for the 2013-14 session; and then by 22 per cent to Rs 8,200 in 2014-15. Likewise, it also increased tuition fee (quarterly) from 5,445 to 6,900 (a 27 per cent rise for 2013-14) and then 15 per cent to 7,740 for 2014-15.

Other charges included Rs 300 per annum for stationary; Rs 300 per annum for chip-based I-cards; Rs 390 per quarter for smart classes; Rs 500 per annum as medical charges; computer charges of Rs 150 per quarter and Rs 1000 (without any receipt) for extra counselling. The committee also noted that new admission cost Rs 25,000 and that the promised facilities were not being provided to the students.

Ordering the school to refund hiked charges, roughly around Rs 3 crore, the high court committee orders said, “After taking into account the various variables, even the increase of annual charges from Rs 2,500 in 2010-11 to Rs 8,500 in 2014-15, which has not been denied by the school, the same is not required to be more than 10 per cent and the excess charges made need to be refunded”.

“Profit of 54 per cent to 98 per cent (in three sessions) has also been made from medical charges and tuition fee has also been increased by 20 per cent. The school has not contradicted the said figures and has neither submitted class-wise fee structure of 2011-12 to 2013-14. The fee increase has to be within 10 per cent of the previous year and that too if corresponding expenditure on salaries is incurred by the way of new recruitment or annual increase of salaries,” the committee has ruled.

The committee has also ordered the school to refund Rs 28.21 lakh with 9 per cent interest taken as smart class fee as they were never conducted. The school argued that due to a dispute with the vendor, classes were not started but committee noted that ‘parents were not responsible for it.’

Contacted for comments, Poonam Dogra, principal of the school, said, “We have received a copy of the orders and it is under the purview of our legal cell. The final decision will be taken by the management after discussions with the legal cell.”


Madras HC: include Thirukkural in syllabus

Madras HC directs TN govt to include Thirukkural in syllabus

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HC: Make Thirukkural Compulsory in Schools from 2016-17

By R.K.Rajasekaran

Published: 27th April 2016 04:47 AM

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to include Thirukkural as a compulsory separate subject in school syllabus from the next academic year.

Though the students were already learning about 275 couplets of the epic, the court mentioned that mere ‘memorising and writing’ of the couplets in the sake of examinations was insufficient. According to petitioner S Rajarathinam, a retired government employee, the crimes against women, children have increased to unimaginable extent. Also, matrimonial disputes have increased considerably depicting once again the intolerant, dishonest and inhuman lifestyles.

Under such circumstances, the court should direct the government to modify the school syllabus for Class VI to XII, so as to ensure that the students acquainted and learnt thoroughly all the 1,330 couplets of Thirukkural, he prayed.

The Special Government Pleader (SGP) appearing for the government contended that in pursuance of the Tamil Learning Act, 2006, Tamil language was made a compulsory subject. The syllabus was framed by the experts in the Education Department after considering  the socio-economic and cultural values of Thirukkural and about 275 selected couplets were included at suitable places so as to not overburden the students. Even, several competitions were held to propagate it.

Moreover, there is no duty on the state to accede to the request made by the petitioner and hence under the above circumstances, the writ petition should be dismissed, he added.

After hearing the arguments, Justice R Mahadevan said it was contended by the SGP that the policy decisions cannot be the subject matter of a writ petition. But the offences in the society have been increased manifold. It affected the people’s fundamental rights, which should be preserved. Though the court cannot directly enforce the fundamental rights directing the state to enact the law in a particular way, it can interfere when the same rights would be affected.

No other literary work than Thirukkural can teach the moral values, so the government should include all Adhigarams of two sections in the curriculum of students, the judge said.


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Ex-judge feels Thirukkural can't be thrust upon schools

TNN | Apr 28, 2016, 02.47 AM IST

Chennai: Should Thirukkural be taught in schools to improve the moral standard of our children? While a Madras high court judge thinks so, many others feel it is not for the judiciary to decide what goes into the school curriculum.

Justice R Mahadevan of the Madurai bench directed schools to include 108 chapters of the classical Tamil literature in the curriculum for Classes 6 to 12, but he did not want the third chapter (Kamathupal, that deals with the relationship between a husband and wife) to be included.

"It is not up to the court to decide on what should be included in a school curriculum. A decision like that needs to be left to academicians," said former high court judge K Chandru. He referred to the Supreme Court case of 2004 in which PM Bhargava, founder director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, filed a petition stating that astrology should not be included as part of the University Grants Commission courses.

"The SC directed that the decision was best left with academicians and not the court. The judiciary cannot make statements and decisions like this," said Chandru.

Students are not pleased either. " I memorised around 200 verses from Class 6 to 10," said Roshni Mani, a Class 12 student of Montford Higher Secondary School. "Like most students I did not understand the meaning of some of the couplets. For most of us it was just a way of scoring marks," she said.

Dr B Damodaran, a lawyer who teaches Thirukurral to students, said rote learning of the couplets did not add value. "Merely making children memorise the 1330 verses in Thirukkural is not going to make a difference in their lives. Each couplet needs to be understood in today's context on its own. This is not like making mass photocopies," he said.

"For this you need good teachers who understand Thirukkural and its true meaning," said Damodran who formed Thirukkural Mandram - a forum for teaching the couplets.

For Chandru, the context too comes with complications. "Thirukkural was written centuries ago. There are many verses that are almost against women. I don't think those should be propagated today. There are other verses about God. Now, one cannot assume that every student is a believer," he said.

The HC judgement was passed on a petition filed by S Rajarathinam who wanted students to be taught the entire Thirukkural by the time they left school as he felt it would instill moral values in them.


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