The CSF, PTA, community groups get Shiv Sena Hoarding Off Convent

March 6, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Shiv Sena Hoarding Off

The CSF, PTA and community groups took strong exception to a Shiv Sena hoarding that they forced the police to get down. They took strong exception to a few disgruntled parents using political pressure to register an FIR against Canossa High School at Mahim for charging Rs.2500 per student. The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias and representatives of the Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum (MCYF), Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) and Catholics for the Preservation of the Faith met with the Parent – Teacher Association (PTA), school management and students.
Please find below our findings:

1. The Canossa High School followed the due process for getting approval for funds for maintenance and even went beyond, which is documented. The management involved all the students in the decision making process by highlighting the need at the school assembly, executive and managing committee of the PTA and unanimously got resolutions passed at the general body meeting.

2. The complaints of a handful of parents stems from an earlier meeting where some of them were voted out of the PTA, in the presence of the education department inspector. These parents then reportedly sought the assistance of a political party and the Forum for Fairness in Education, who advised them to file an FIR at the Mahim police station.

3. The community groups saw that the school was in dire need of maintenance as some classrooms were leaking and the paint had worn off. The management also pointed out that being a girls school there was need for security by raising the walls and installing CCTVs and grills, as there were instances of anti-social elements (drug addicts and robbers) trying to enter in.

4. To better the quality of education, it was also necessary to have a projector, computer and audio-visual room facilities, soundproofing the counseling room and furniture for an additional division. There was a felt need to equip and better the facilities for physical fitness for the students, renovate the laboratories, purchase a photocopying machine, etc.

5. At the general body meeting on 23rd February, the parents and teachers were explained that it would not be possible to have better facilities as the government did not provide for anything beyond the salaries of the staff. Even here the school was paying from its own funds for staff who were not approved by the education department for teaching, supportive or clerical purposes.

6. Further the school had to incur expenses for other non-salary items from its internal resources, like water, repairs, security, electricity, etc. and it was not in a position to do so. Hence, if it was not possible to collect funds then the school would not be able to offer these facilities. Such a collection did not come under the ambit of section of 7A and 7AA of the Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act 1987 of the Government of Maharashtra as it was not being taken in return for admissions.

catholic bodies support Mahim school7. The school management said that it was always considerate to deserving cases, even at other times and without discrimination of any kind, especially if the student was being brought up by a single parent. Since it was a girls school, the management and PTA had to take even more care. No student had complained of victimization or being humiliated. Hence, either the parents apologize or students will have to leave the school for the same facilities at a lesser cost elsewhere.

8. The community groups noted that it was a minority institution, which gave the trust running it, the right to manage and administer it. But, such interference and threats by a few parents were affecting the children’s education and holding the school to ransom. It was also mentioned that at the time of admission to Christian institutions, parents are prepared to pay hefty donations, because they provided high quality of education at the nominal price, which will now be affected by such moves.

The CSF along with all stake-holders will take up the issue with the government and ensure that Christian educational institutions are not troubled by extra-constitutional communal forces. Joseph Dias, the CSF general secretary said it would not take such affronts to the community lying down, no matter who the opposition is.

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