School to parent: Sorry you can’t afford fees, please find child’s TC

KOLKATA: The state school education department has started an enquiry against a minority-run English medium school in Kidderpore after it allegedly handed a transfer certificate (TC) to a Class II student last month, when his parents asked for more time to pay the hiked fees. The school fees was increased from Rs 700 a month to Rs 1,000.
The TC, with the school secretary’s signature and seal, reads: “I’m sorry to hear you can’t afford my school fees. Please find your child’s TC enclosed. I wish your child all the best for future.”
West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) president Kalyanmoy Ganguly said the department submitted a report before the school education department and the chief minister’s office, after adetailed enquiry based on a complaint by the child’s father.
“No school can terminate the studies of a student just because his parents can’t afford the school fees. Now the department would decide on what action should be taken against the school,” said Ganguly.
Education minister Partha Chatterjee confirmed receiving the complaint. “The CM has made it clear that no school can demand extra fee. We’re drafting a new education policy. An enquiry is under way in this particular case,” he said.
The allegations were labelled against Al-Hamd WSA High School in Kidderpore, which had received recognition from the WBBSEtwo years ago.
The child’s father, Md Islam, said the school opened for the new session after winter vacation on January 8 and all parents were asked to submit the enhanced fees by January 6 of that month. Islam along with a few other parents objected to the sudden hike and approached the school to review the fees. “I sent my child without paying the hiked fee on January 8 but they didn’t allow him to attend any of the classes. When the same happened the next day, I approached the principal saying I would pay the fee with late payment charges once the issue is resolved. But the next day, they handed over the TC to my son,” said Islam, an MBA who lost his job at a private firm after the implementation of GST last year and is yet to find another.
Asenior official of the school told TOI the TC was issued indeed. “As the case is being probed, we wouldn’t want to comment on the issue,” said Md Farhan, the school secretary.