Friday, March 8, 2013

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you


CIRCULAR (Dt-8.3.2013)

DO UNTO OTHERS…

Dear friends,
         
On the complaint before the Hon’ble Fee Determination Committee:

          Repeated hearing before the Committee have not yet resolved the issue.  While the school has claimed that they have refunded the excess fees collected for books last year by means of adjustment in the book fees of this year, the following two issues remain:
i)                Excess fees of students who left the school after completion of last academic year has not yet been refunded in full
ii)              Computation of book fees in respect of the 10th and 12th standards of last year has been kept a secret and
iii)            Excess fees for book fees collected for the present year has not been refunded yet.  The computation is also not made available, though the academic year is drawing to a close.

With regard to the excess fees collected from parents of new entrants (LKG) last year in the name of Registration Fees, it has not yet been refunded in spite of the repeated assurances of the Advocate of the School before the Hon’ble Fee Determination Committee that it will be done soon.

          Based on the requirement of the Hon’ble Fee Determination Committee, the CEO, Coimbatore has already submitted a report confirming that there has been excess fees collection and the School has failed to produce records for verification regarding any refunds made.

          Since a lot of expenditure has been met already in attending to the hearings of the Committee at Chennai, the Executive Committee decided to petition to the Committee to pass orders on merits and evidences on record and render justice for our Complaint.

          On completion of the academic year, if the excess fees collected in the name of book fees for this academic year is not refunded, a fresh complaint on this issue as well as excess fees collected in the name of Smart Class is to be preferred to the Hon’ble Committee.

Issues taken up with School authorities:

We had written to the School authorities and sought to have the pending issues settled amicably by leaving the past behind and taking them as learning experiences.  We have been hopping to get a positive response from them.  As a result we have not yet filed our complaint for the current period also regarding excess fees collection in the name of book fees and in the name of Smart Class before the Committee.

TEXT OF OUR LETTER
To
The Correspondent,
SBOA Hr. Sec School, Coimbatore.

The Principal,
SBOA Hr. Sec School, COIMBATORE

Sir/ Madam,

                 Sub:- Requirements for improving the functioning of the school and issues related to the dispute before the Fee Determination Committee - reg.

     Kind reference is invited to our earlier letters regarding the requirement for a slew of measures for the betterment of the premises at Coimbatore.

     We have not got any response in writing.  Even Government has become aware that it is basically answerable and accountable to the citizens of the country.  But, for the parents who contribute a major part of their life's entire efforts and earnings into your premises, and who do not expect or get any charity from your institution, a little more is expected.

     The Executive Committee of this Association desires to place the following points in continuation to the above letters, for your consideration and early action:

1.  Mother’s Committee inspection may please be put in motion as per the Chief Minister's Order, immediately. 

2.  The interaction between teachers and parents and formation of PTA is statutory  and Mandatory. Not only the management has not kept its promise to constitute a PTA, even the method of distribution of Report cards thrice in a year under the name of PTA Meeting has been dispensed with for the last two years.  The school atmosphere will deteriorate if there is no co-ordination between the Management-Teaching staff-Parents trio.

3.  It is seen that the school is asking parents to fill up certain forms to be given to some outside agencies.  The School should not compromise on data pertaining to student and parents by getting involved with net working groups on which the school has no control. Any move to form or became part of social net working groups should be done after a discussion with the Parents’ Association and with its concurrence.

4.  A smart class fees which is collected by the School during the academic year 2012-2013 in excess of prescribed fees by the Committee is objectionable for the following reasons:-
·       Any fees should have been fixed only after getting concurrence of the Fees Committee.
·       Any expense made to the Instillation of the equipments for this facility is only a developmental expenditure and already part of the determined fees.
·       Since smart class is not for any extra circular activity, separate fees cannot be demanded for that.
·       If at all, the facility of smart class is used in the class room, it should be only after consultation with optomologists. 
·       It is only a teaching aid  and therefore a part of the normal school activity for which fees has been determined already.
·       No concurrence has been obtained from the Parents’ Association before installation of smart class, in terms of decision of the District Collector, Coimbatore communicated vide minutes of the meeting dated 10.3.20112 .       

Hence this fees may please be refunded to all the parents from whom it has been collected this year (2012-13).                                                   

5.  The attitude of the school and the method of using the teaching staff to obtain letter from Parents of UKG students forcibly is illegal and objectionable.   It undermines the dignity of the teachers and is an insult to the parents.  This move is only to escape from the finding of the CEO and interference with the proceeding before the Fees Determination Committee by creating false evidence in the matter of registration fees collected last year (2011-2012).

6.  The School will be fully responsible for the safety and security of the children from the point of getting down from the vehicle while coming to the school and upto the point of getting into vehicles while leaving the school. Necessary traffic arrangements may therefore be made kindly in such a manner that all vehicles used by children are allowed to drop the children and pick up the children inside the school premises.

7.  It is learnt that the certain parents working in State Bank of India are allowed to use the school premises for recreation activities on holidays. In such case, if all the other parents are also permitted to avail this facility, it will serve to enhance the image of the school.   Otherwise it would be discriminatory.

REFUND AND DISPUTE BEFORE THE FEES COMMITTEE:

     Apart from the above, as communicated orally to the Principal after the hearing dated 3.12.12 before the Fee Determination Committee at Chennai, as per discussions with your advocate Shri. Sivakumar, and as per his telephonic discussion with your Head Office Manager, Shri. Prabhakaran (in the presence of the undersigned) we have advised the parents whose fees is in dispute for the past period to pay the fees for the past period from 2010-11 as per their own assessment and remit it in the form of Demand Draft at the school office in Coimbatore for which the school would issue proper receipts.  However, due to the school not making the complete list of such parents available to us, it is possible that we may not have been able to reach out to each one of them.  In such case, if their names is provided, we will contact them and fulfill our part of the commitment.  We are sure that the school will respondent in tandem in matters of refund of excess fees collected and which is under dispute before the Committee.

yours truly,
-Sd/-
(M. Saravanan)

Copy for information to Shri. Sivakumar, Advocate (w.r.t the discussions on 3.12.2012 in respect of the last para of the above letter please)

Shifting of office of the Association:

          Since the traffic on the road and intrusive glances from the school premises made it difficult for its functioning in the present premises, our Parents’ Association has been shifted to a nearby address at 102, Annai Indira Nagar 2nd Street, Chockampudur.  Members may contact us at the said address or through mobile phone/email/webaddress.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you:

          The Officers’ Association of the SBI is on an agitation/confrontation with their management.  From their circulars, it becomes evident that all along, their Association had been sustained by the support of the management and presently (perhaps) faced by the necessity to face up to the challenges of the new generation banks, some changes are sought to be made to the functioning of the SBI which obviously does not appear to be to the liking of the SBIOA.

          The Circular dated 7.3.2013 (http://aisbof.org/circulars.htm) issued by the said Association narrates the events from 2011. 

          When the SBIOA (and its Federation, the All India State Bank Officers’ Federation) lament about the management of the SBI forcing the Officers not to participate in an agitation against the Bank, we wonder, how the Officers could call themselves a Trade union, when particularly they do not appear to understand the stench of sweat and blood of the toiling masses, as we found during the proceedings of the Parents Agitations. (http://sboapwa.com/about.php#var_x) Even till date, the management of the School headed by these Officers has been unsympathetic and unresponsive to the pleas of Parents (poor as they are compared to the financial status and clout of these Bosses).  We find their double standards exposed when dealing with their own issues and that of others.  We see their hypocrisy, in on one hand trying to quell the legitimate spontaneous agitation of Fee Paying Parents while asserting on the other hand their own right to agitate, even as they are Salary receivers from the Bank.  We look at the picture of how they treat their Staff (as if they are the pay masters) and how they want to dictate to their own pay masters.  How they want the best part of the world in each position – how they want their rights as an employee, how they enjoy the conveniences of being an Officer Bearer of an Association (Trade Union) and also that of a Lord (in their Capacity as ex-officio Correspondents or Management Committee Members of the Schools), without spending the mandatorily required hours in the School premises and without actually dealing with the issues of Education and Parents/Students/Teachers issues as required of persons in their position and without wanting to become accountable for their activities in the said Trust, to the fee paying parents.  How, after taking donations (and heftily at that) from parents and common public and shoring up resources in the name of School and Trust, give the least consideration to those who have contributed, or to the Society which has permitted them to do so, and on the other hand, even while ensuring the ‘near free education’ of their own wards, give an impression, in demure and words as if it is they who are doing a service to the society!

          Yet, we shall not for a moment pay back in their own coin - We do not question their legitimate rights to protest in their organization, before their management – against any injustice.  But only let them at least now remember the Biblical counsel:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” [Matthew 7:12]

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Entry of old students banned on School Day

In a regrettable development, the SBOA School, Coimbatore, has issued circulars to its students, stating that Old Students who are not to receive any awards are prohibited from entering the school premises on the Sports- Cum- School day to be celebrated on 8.2.2013.  
When Schools and Educational institutions take pride in celebrating Alumni day, this school shutting its doors to its old students, points to the deep malaise in the premises - the lack of emotional bond between the school and its students.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Developments before the Fee Determination Committee

The complaint made by us before the Hon'ble Fee Determination Committee is being heard by the Committee.

During the last hearing held on 30.5.12, it was submitted on behalf of the school that the excess fees collected for book fees in the academic year 2011-12 has been refunded by way of adjustment in this year's book deposit.  

[If parents of children who have left the school this year (June 2012) have not got a refund of the last year's excess book fees, it may be brought to the notice of the Association].

When we pleaded that though the adjustment has been made on paper, actual amount refunded is very less considering that this year's Book Deposit is almost as much as last years, it was stated on behalf of the school that this had happened since the notification of text book cost had got delayed and as soon as it is available, this year's excess amount also will be refunded.

Regarding the excess fees collected from new entrants in the name of 'Registration Fees', it was submitted on behalf of the school that it was voluntarily given by the parents of the LKG (of last year) for development of play area for the KG children and that the said fees is not collected now.  We have pointed out :
(1) It was collected not only from LKG students, but from new entrants of all classes and 
(2) No such consent or concurrence was given by the said parents.

However, the Commission is to take a view regarding the Registration Fees only after verifying whether the parents voluntarily gave such an amount or not.

Parents of students studying now in UKG as well as parents of children who were admitted last year and had paid the said fees, desirous of getting the said 'Registration Fees' back (if they have not given such a consent or paid voluntarily) may approach the Association and record the same so that it could be produced before the Hon'ble Committee during the next hearing scheduled for 26.6.12.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Memorandum to Chief Minister on harassement of students.

Parents have been contacting us stating that the children are being abused in and out of the class rooms in the school campus by teachers under the pretext of demand of the disputed fees.  

A select few of the teachers under the leadership of the Vice-Principal Mr. Christopher Dhanapal are understood to be involved in this.  A couple of these people are also reported to be indulging in physical assault on the children.  We are still not revealing the names of these persons hoping that they will correct their attitudes.  

As usual the Principal has told us that she will take care that fee issues will not affect the children appearing for their exams etc.  But when the children are even otherwise under study-pressure, to create further pressure upon them stating that they will not be allowed to take exams if they cannot make their parents pay up as per the demand of the school and thereafter to say that 'the threat will not be carried out' are very old and yet risky games.

We have along with similar schools in the district, under the umberla of SWAP, submitted a memorandum to the Hon'ble Chief Minster through the District Collector.  The memorandum is on the blog of the SWAP.  It can be seen on clicking on the link to SWAP on this page.

The Collector has assured to call the managements of the schools and the parent body representatives for a discussion to settle the issues.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Letter from School regarding fees

Parents have phoned up and sent messages stating that the School has sent a letter stating that the Fees determined by Justice Raviraja Pandian Committee is applicable only from 2010-11 and that it is not binding for the year 2009-10. Therefore it appears that they have called upon the parents to pay the differential fees.

This argument they have been making orally and we have time and again stated that the committee's recommendation is applicable for the Rest of the schools from 2010-11, but due to the terms of agreement dated 3.6.09 signed between the management of the school, the Parents Association of the school and Various Government authorities, the fees determined by the Government Committee is binding on this school from 2009-10 in the absence of a mutual agreement or a judicial verdict on the issue.  If the school says that the Committee's decision is not binding, then there is no fee structure acceptable at all for the year 2009-10 and consequently due to the agreement dated 3.6.09 they cannot call upon any one to pay fees for that year.


These issues have been represented again to the IMS and CEO.  The executive committee has also considered the issues on hand.  After a thorough analysis the following stand is being announced:

Regarding part-fees kept pending for the year 2010-11 it has been withheld to get the refund of 2009-10 adjusted in those cases where the school has collected the fees as determined unilaterally by them.  As per the agreement dated 3.6.09, we are bound by the decision of the Government committee or Judicial order or a mutual agreement, whichever comes first.  Since there was no mutual agreement or a judicial order, the decision of the Government Committee becomes binding.  Since the School was supposed to collect only this fees, as per the said agreement, any amount collected in excess of the Government Committee determined fees, requires to be refunded.  Hundreds of parents have submitted their application for refund of the excess fees collected by the School in 2009-10.  The school may conveniently call it 'hand full of parents'.  But refund has to be granted to whoever asks for it since it will otherwise prove that the excess fees has been extorted.  That being so, until the disposal of the refund applications, there is no necessity on the part of the parents to pay the entire outstanding amount for 2010-11, pending adjustment of the excess paid in 2009-10.

In respect of the fees for 2011-12, part payment has been withheld due to non supply of break-up of the cost of books and note books, which has been increased up to double even when this year's Government supplied Samacheer Kalvi books bear a much lesser cost than the matric books that were supplied up till last year.  We have been expecting that the school will come out with the break-up of the book fees and it could be settled accordingly.  Several letters have been addressed to the school and various authorities on this count.  Similarly on the case of excess fees collected from parents of LKG, in the name of Registration Fees (which was not there till last year) we have repeatedly represented.  But now that it is understood that the School does not want to deal with the issue in a fair manner, we have no option but to make a complaint to the Committee at Chennai regarding this method of the school to hoodwink the Government by collecting excess fees under different headings.  The Committee has in respect of several schools in the state, so far ordered refund of fees collected in excess of the amount determined by them . Hence we have decided to approach the Committee.  Based on the order of the Committee, the school will be bound to give refund for 2011-12.

Since the issue of books and excess fees collected from parents of LKG students has been decided to be taken up separately to get a refund of the same, the Parents may pay the remaining fees as determined by the Government Committee for the year 2011-12 alone (Pink colour challan)

In respect of the pending fees for 2010-11, we will await the response of the District/Police and Education Administration who are parties to the agreement dated 3.6.09 and proceed after getting legal advice.  Until then Parents are requested to keep them pending and be prepared to respond to any call by this Association to safeguard the agreement dated 3.6.09.







Sunday, December 4, 2011

HOUSE DIVIDED OR ‘GOOD COP AND BAD COP’?


               Last fortnight has been revealing in the history of SBOA, Coimbatore, as far as we are concerned.

          The Police Inspector of Selvapuram Police Station had called the office bearers of this association for an enquiry with regard to the petition filed by us before the Commissioner of Police requesting his intervention in safeguarding the agreement dated 3.6.09 to which the Asst. Commissioner of Police is also a party.

          The school was as usual in a denial mode.  They said that they are bound by the fee structure determined by the committee only from 2010-11 and that for the year 2009-10 it was not binding.  We have reiterated that for other schools it is so, but by virtue of the agreement dated 3.6.09, the fee determined by the committee is binding on SBOA, Coimbatore for the year 2009-10 (the year of dispute, to resolve which the accord was signed).

          But the school’s representatives, particularly the Vice-Principal gave glimpses of his genius or of those who had sent him for the discussions.

Some of his utterences during the discussions are given in block letters and our comments are given within brackets so that members can draw their own conclusions regarding the mind-set of the people with whom we are dealing:

The agreement dated 3.6.09 was signed under pressure by external forces.
[Did the RDO, AC (P) and IMS also sign it under pressure? Who are these external forces?  The authorities who were parties to the agreement? Or the Parents, who pay the fees and due whose contributions, the institution itself runs?]

If I had been the Principal I would have thrown out the agreement the very next day.
[The previous known in-famous case of tearing down an agreement was by Hitler.  It lead to the Second World War. That apart, how did he expect that the pressure would have eased the very next day, if it was exerted?  What sort of Principal he would have made, if he could have the temerity to tear down a written agreement, that too along with Government representatives of the District Admn, Police and Education Department.  What sort of morals he would have administered to the students of the school?  However, by this statement he has given away that the agreement is still alive.]

The future of your children is in our hands.  I am saying this in my personal capacity, not as Vice Principal.
[Virtue becomes a vice the moment some one claims it.  If the Parents tell the teacher, the future of our children is in your hands, it is merit.  If the teacher tells it himself, it amounts to a threat.  Where is the difference whether it is stated in personal capacity or as a Vice-Principal?  The thought reveals the personality]

The Parents are behaving like a trade union by putting up an office before the school.
[Is trade union per se such a bad thing?  Is the school itself not being run by a trade union?  If the Parents had to put up an office of their own before the school, is it not the fault of the school because they do not have a PTA?  How do the perpetuators of this malady themselves weep as if innocent?]

In an earlier instance, when the RDO was discussing the issue with us and the management of the school and when the Local Correspondent was repeatedly stating that they were not violating the agreement dated 3.6.09 and they were not forcing the parents to pay more than as per the agreement, this Vice-Principal had unwittingly stated: “If we cannot collect the differential fees during the end of the tenure when children were taking TC when can we do it?”  The Local Correspondent had at that time given him a glare.  It is not understood how the same person was sent to the Police Station to safeguard the interests of the School.

Last week, another event forced us to meet with the Principal.  It was related to a very sensitive issue.  There had been an attempt to abduct a girl student from the very front of the school on the evening of 29.11.11.  A person in mufti had caught hold of the hand of a small girl student and tried to take her away saying ‘your father asked me to fetch you’.  The girl screamed and got help from a master standing near the gate and escaped to her van.  She reported the event to her parents.  Next day morning, we went along with the concerned Parent to inform the issue to the Principal.  While the Principal seemed to be alarmed and immediately called the Master who was said to have been at the Gate and a witness to the incident, this Vice-Principal, instead of having the honesty to verify the facts, immediately stated that he was also there and nothing of that sort had happened. 

          Now that the school authorities have verified and found that the incident had actually happened, how is this person going to eat his own words?  What sort of responsibility he is exhibiting even in the face of such a serious issue?  How does he aspire to become the Principal of the School, in the future?

          He is said to be the key person involved in instigating teachers certain teachers to intimidate and insult students (their parents) in class rooms.  They do not realize that children will not respect those who do not respect their parents.  Without this fundamental wisdom, what sort of teaching could they be expected to impart? 

          An analysis of these attitudes would give an impression that either the school administration is a divided house – the Vice-Principal is running his own administration with his own ideas, perhaps with some tacit support of the management.  Otherwise, it is a stage managed drama of ‘Good Cop and Bad Cop’.

          Either way it is silly and will ruin the School. 

Let us hope that the non-partisan members of the Educational Trust are listening and will effectively intervene to stem the rot.

  


Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Warm welcome and Congratulations to the new Mayor of Coimbatore:

The SBOA Parents Welfare Association extends its warm welcome and congratulations to the new Mayor of Coimbatore, Shri. Se.Ma.Velusamy.

Our association with the new Mayor dates back to 3.6.09, [the events of the day are reported in the 'journey' in this site] the day on which the parents had gathered at SBOA School campus to get the fees issue sorted out. Even though we had not intimated the developments to the then MLAs Shri. S.P.Velumani and Shri. Se.Ma.Velusamy, they on their own, upon hearing that several parents had gathered at the premises and Police also had been brought in to intimidate the Parents, came there and offered their unconditional support to the Parents. Further, during the discussion on the bill introduced by the Government to determine the fees in private schools, Shri. Se. Ma. Velusamy and Shri. S.P.Velumani placed on the records of the Legislative Assembly the happenings at SBOA Coimbatore.

Right from those days Shri. Se. Ma. Velusamy and Shri. S.P.Velumani have been sympathetic to the cause of the Parents and have always been accessible for hearing any public grievances.

We are sure that the Corporation of Coimbatore will definitely get its due in the matter of development, drinking water and hygiene with these two dedicated persons at the helm, one as the Minister from this District and the other as the Mayor.