School apartheid: No canteen for students who pay less, says Chennai's Bala Vidya Mandir School
Chennai: Bala Vidya Mandir School of Chennai has made a few changes in its fees structure and now the students can access its facilities on ‘as you pay' basis.
Bala Vidya Mandir School, situated in Adyar area, sent out letters to the parents informing them about the new structure.
One of the ‘paid' services the school has listed its protection against child sexual abuse. Even canteen facilities have been put under ‘paid' category.
The blood donation drives have also been put under paid category, as the letter reads “Blood donation drive as a focus for civic responsibility.”
The letter, widely circulated on social media, lists 59 activities including various sports activities, medical attention, children's mental health programme and assistance in developing 'critical thinking'.
Students who pay between Rs 34,000 to Rs 39,000 a year will be able to only attend classes.
Children, whose Parents pay between Rs 54,000 to Rs 69,000 per annum, will have the opportunity to participate in various other activities. The school's TULIR child sex abuse prevention programme will be only extended to people who cough up extra money.
The incident sparked a furore on social media and the angry parents turned out in large numbers to protest outside the school.
Meanwhile, the management sacked CEO SS Nathan and removed officiating Principal Srinivasa Raghava on Wednesday. The duo was reportedly against the ‘fee apartheid' and had joined the parents opposing the fee structure.
Bowing to public pressure, the management relented and indicated that it was ready to adhere to the regulations laid down by the Private School Fee determination Committee in totality.
“It has not been our intention to distinguish any children. We shall have a consultative dialogue with the parents to discuss the way forward,” the management said in a press release.