For years now, schools and parents have been at loggerheads over various issues like fee hikes, infrastructure and even academics. While parents are rushing to the education department, rights bodies and the courts with complaints, schools managements have been using circulars which parents claim come with subtle threats to cancel admissions.Mental health experts however feel it is time schools stopped using the authoritarian tone.
Recently , parents from Rizvi Springfield School in Khar were upset after being handed out an undertaking which stated that they should be dressed in decent and modest attire when they come to school and that not object to disciplinary action against students. A school in Chandivli warned parents against participating in any protests related to school through the admission brochure.
Such circulars, parents claimed, are common practice in several schools. “Most schools state such clauses in either the prospectus or calendars. Schools aren't maintaining transparency or delivering the promises made at the time of admission. However, they are the ones who are laying out the rules. This is all against the guide lines of the Right to Education Act or Child Rights Convention. The education department also doesn't pay heed to our requests,“ Anubha Sahai, president of India Wide Parents Association. The association is planning to file a complaint to the HRD ministry and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
While school managements claim they issue such warnings only to ensure that parents don't disturb every day functioning, mental health experts said it is time to change the tone. “Schools need to stop sounding so intimidating. Today , if a school threatens to cancel the admission of child, parents are not scared. Schools need to be sensitive and use better emotional intelligence while sending out notes to parents,“ said clinical psychologist, Seema Hingorrany .
“Schools are yet not democratic and are not fully transparent on how they are spending the fees. They need to work on moulding their philosophy and not just bettering their infrastructure,“ said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty .