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Parents to move HC over school uniform fiasco

Bongaigaon, Feb. 6: Parents of a nursery student will move Gauhati High Court against a private English medium school at Bijni in Chirang district after the authorities cancelled their son’s admission for allegedly failing to buy the uniform from a particular shop.

Masud Karim, 38, an activist of Anti-corruption and Crime Investigation, a Haryana-based NGO, admitted his three-year-old son Rizwan in nursery on December 16, 2013 for the 2014 session at Holy Child School in Bijni, 3km from his residence at Nachanguri in Bongaigaon district.

“After the payment of the fees, principal-in-charge Tukumoni Das asked me to buy the uniform from Vivekananda Bastralaya,” Karim said.

Accordingly, Karim went to the cloth shop on January 4 to buy dress materials for his son.

When he found the materials costlier than in other shops, he called the principal to seek permission to buy the material from other shops.

But Das told him that the dress materials bought from any other would not be accepted. When Karim argued with the principal and asked her not to do “business” with uniform materials, she disconnected the phone.

He paid Rs 3,150 as admission fee and Rs 400 as tuition fee for the month of January to the school.

On January 6, the principal called Karim to the school. When he arrived, the academic chairman and advocate Swapan Kumar Das told him that since he (Karim) violated the school’s rules, his son’s admission had been cancelled.

Das also asked him to take back his admission fee from the school by January 10.

The same day, when he reached the school, he was forced by the school management to sign two hand-written (English) papers. “One paper was meant for refunding the admission fee and the other was a statement for seeking refund of the admission fee for not being able to follow the school norms,” Karim alleged.

However, the school management offered a different version.

The academic chairman said, “Karim himself asked for the admission fees to be returned in an application for being unable to follow the school rules, so the total amount was refunded to him.”

The principal said, “I had never forced him to buy uniform materials from any particular shop.”

On January 11, Karim lodged a complaint against the school management with Bongaigaon deputy commissioner Shankar Prasad Nandi.

He also sent the copies of the complaint to chief minister Tarun Gogoi, chief secretary Jitesh Khosla, education minister Himata Biswa Sarma, Chirang deputy commissioner Virender Mittal and Bijni sub-divisional officer (civil) Bishnu Kamal Bora on the same day.

The Chirang deputy commissioner has ordered an inquiry.

Karim got a letter on January 24 evening from the Bijni sub-divisional officer (civil) in which he was asked to appear before the him tomorrow for a hearing.

“After discussing with my counsel I have already readied relevant papers to file a suit against the school management in Gauhati High Court after the hearing on February 7,” Karim told The Telegraph.

He will send the same complaint to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights by registered post on February 8.

Being deprived of schooling in the current session, Rizwan will have to wait for the next academic year to get admission in some other school.