Three schools that closed down on Thursday after the management cited a “law and order situation” triggered by parents’ protests will reopen on Monday for students who have cleared their dues, a notice from the schools said.
Ashok Hall Girls’ Higher Secondary School, GD Birla Centre for Education and Mahadevi Birla Shishu Vihar pasted a notice on the school gates on Saturday morning that said: “The school will reopen on Monday, 11/04/2022 for students who have cleared all dues.”
Many parents wondered whether that would be a violation of a Calcutta High Court order in February that said schools cannot take any coercive measure against the student for non-payment of fees.
In another order on Wednesday, the court said schools cannot deny promotion to any student or withhold report cards for non-payment of fees.
A spokesperson for the schools reiterated what the notice said: “Those who have cleared the existing dues are eligible to attend classes.”
The three schools had closed down on Thursday — the fourth day of the new session — following days of agitation by a section of parents against fees charged by the schools.
The shut down had resulted in dissatisfaction and grievances among a large section of parents who asked why their children should suffer because they had paid the fees. Many had sent emails to the schools appealing to the authorities to resume in-person classes.
Many parents were anxious because their children are scheduled to appear in the board exams from April 25 and 26. Some of the schools are centres for the board exams.
“We are glad that the authorities decided to reopen school because this sudden closure had led to anxiety among us,” said Sanjay Bhattacharyya, acting president of GD Birla Centre for Education Parents’ Association.
“We also have sympathy for students whose report cards are withheld and think that they should not be denied classes. But the association will not support any agitation in front of the school during classes,” he added.
The court in its February order had asked guardians to pay 80 per cent of the fees for the period between April 2020 and February 2022 by March 25.
Some parents whose children were not given report cards and denied entry to campus in the new session said that they had paid the fees.
“We have paid according to the HC order and yet my daughter was not given her report card. I will take her to school on Monday because the authorities should not deny her entry,” said a mother whose daughter is in Class XII in Mahadevi Birla Shishu Vihar.
Some parents who have outstanding dues according to school records have received calls from the school in the last two days asking them to pay the fees.