Gurugram school blocks students from online classes over dues

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Several students of Pathways World School in Aravali were on Wednesday blocked from attending online classes by the school authorities for not clearing their dues.

However, district administration intervened to order restoration of classes till the issue is resolved.

The issue pertained to the payment of school fee during the lockdown period, and the parents, in a Facebook post on ‘Pathways Aravali Parents’ page, claimed that the school was seeking fee till December and demanding hidden charges. The Facebook page also showed a purported communication between the school principal, teachers and the systems staff saying that certain students, with list attached, were not allowed to join classes and should not be allowed to join from other means as well.

One of the parents, Siddhartha Ghosh, said his daughter, a Class 11 student, was among those blocked.

He said that she came to know about her being blocked when she tried to log in on Tuesday evening to check the schedule for next morning.

He claimed that around 400 students were blocked.

“It is a matter of principles. We want the school to not to charge for the services, such as transport and sports activities, that cannot be accessed during the lockdown and also provide us the break-up. As per government rules, parents are only supposed to pay the tuition fee during the lockdown,” said Mr. Ghosh. The parents’ association president Akshay Tripathi said they had decided to move court.

The overcharging of fees in violation of the State government orders has been the bone of contention between several private schools and the parents in the city. Many schools, including prominent ones, have clubbed tuition fee and other charges, such as annual charges, to create a new head, “composite fee”, and are not willing to share the break-up.

Gurugram Divisional Commissioner, Ashok Sangwan, has directed the District Education Officer to look into the matter and ensure that no coercive action was taken against the students.

Tripti Singh, administrator of “Gurgaon Parents for Better Education”, a Facebook forum, said: “If parents are willing to pay tuition fees as mandated and seek clarification on the other fee heads, they should be able to access the information.”

The Pathways World School administration did not respond despite repeated attempts.

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