Students from Thane school made to sit out for “non-payment of fees” before due date | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Students from Thane school made to sit out for “non-payment of fees” before due date

ByAnamika Gharat
Jun 11, 2024 08:48 AM IST

Parents of 112 children from Thane Police School protested as students were made to sit in verandah for unpaid fees. School app glitch caused payment issues

THANE: The parents of around 112 children from Thane Police School, managed by Goenka & Associates Educational Trust, staged a protest on Monday after students were asked to sit in the verandah on the first day of school for not paying their fees. The last day of payment is June 12, said parents.

Thane, India - June ,10, 2024: The students of the police school Kharker ali in thane were not allowed to sit in the classroom on the first day because of non-payment of fees , in Thane ,in Mumbai, India, on, Monhday, June,10, 2024. ( Praful Gangurde / HT Photo )
Thane, India - June ,10, 2024: The students of the police school Kharker ali in thane were not allowed to sit in the classroom on the first day because of non-payment of fees , in Thane ,in Mumbai, India, on, Monhday, June,10, 2024. ( Praful Gangurde / HT Photo )

Many parents said they had received calls from different WhatsApp numbers, with schoolteachers asking them to pay the fees immediately or take their children back home. Parents said that the school’s in-house app, over which it was mandatory to pay fees, wasn’t just displaying June 12 as the due date but also had a technical glitch which made payment via it impossible.

A parent, whose daughter studies in Class 8, said that the school earlier used to accept payment through online or UPI transactions. “Six months ago, they introduced a new application and made it mandatory to pay fees from it,” they said. “This app does not show on the playstore of most mobile phones. I couldn’t find it but after accessing it through a link, it showed June 12 as the due date. I tried to pay the fees through the app, but the transaction failed two or three times.”

According to parents, the school authorities claimed that they had sent messages and mails stating the last day as June 5, but most parents did not receive the message. “If they have made it compulsory to pay through the app, why are the due dates different?” asked a parent. “Shouldn’t they have considered their own application glitch before humiliating our children?”

Laxmi Shirsagar, mother of a Class 5 student, said that on receiving a whatsapp call from the class teacher to pay the fees immediately, she told them she would send a cheque the next day because the app was not working. “But they insisted on my coming to the school immediately,” she said. “The moment I reached, I saw my son sitting on the verandah, which made me very angry. We requested a meeting with the school principal, which was denied rudely by the authorities. Since the school has taken a deposit from us, they could have cut the payment from it instead of hampering our children’s mental health.”

Vaibhavi Bhandekar, a parent of a Class 9 student, also faced a technical glitch in the app. “So we decided to visit the school personally and pay by cheque,” she said. “But the school was not ready to accept a cheque. We were asked to once again try paying via the app on Tuesday. But this morning I got a call from the class teacher to take my child back home for non-payment of fees. I would have understood if we had failed to pay before the due date but this was a real issue. Our children unnecessarily had to go through this humiliation from the school authorities.”

The school principal refused to talk, and several calls on the school’s official number went unanswered. When HT contacted schoolteacher Dieal D’Souza, who had called parents, she said “I will not comment.”

Parents also alleged that despite requests, the school principal did not meet them. Purvesh Sarnaik, Yuva Sena chief, said, “We will send a letter to the education minister, demanding that the principal be sacked and strict action be taken against the school authorities.”

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