Tura, Nov 27: A massive controversy has erupted after the head mistress of one of the private schools in Tura barred two girls from appearing for their examinations for the failure of their parents to clear pending fees of two months.
Following the incident, the father of the two children William S Sangma lodged an FIR against the head mistress and owner of Casarina Public School, Marina R Marak. Though the matter was compromised between the complainant and the head mistress, an inquiry into the matter has been ordered by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of West Garo Hills (WGH) district, Ram Singh.
Marina allegedly prevented two young children from writing the exams while also confining them to a room in the school.
An inquiry into the matter has been sought from the District School Education Officer (DSEO) with another preliminary inquiry being sought by the district police on the FIR which mentioned the trauma that the 2 children had to endure.
The FIR accused Marin of torturing and harassing two minor daughters of Sangma (aged 5 and 10) on the pretext of their fees not being cleared. Exams began on November 19 last.
“They (children) know nothing about the matter and were subjected to mental and physical torture for being unable to clear the fees for the last two months,” said the FIR.
The DC meanwhile has assured action if child rights have been violated.
Police confirmed that a compromise had been reached and the children were allowed to appear for the rest of the examinations. Based on the complaint, the headmistress was summoned to the police station where she apologized to the father of the 2 children.
“The headmistress and the parent have compromised and given a written statement in the police station terming it as a misunderstanding,” stated SP WGH, MGR Kumar.
The matter has opened a can of worms with many parents of private schools complaining of similar harassment. While most schools of the country allow for children to write their exams irrespective of whether they have outstanding dues or not, many private schools in Tura stand accused of similar misconduct.
Further some schools are also into the habit of collecting the admission fees just after the conclusion of exams in a move to prevent them from leaving school.
Further hikes in late fees have also been questioned after there have allegedly been annual hikes in the amount of late fees collected.
“What began with a fine of Rs 10 has now gone up to Rs 150 each month. This puts additional financial burden on families who are already finding it difficult to clear their children’s dues on time,” stated some parents.
Meanwhile following such allegations coming through the DC has ordered a comprehensive review of the education scenario in the district, particularly those involving private schools at the earliest.