‘Harassment and Threats’: Parents Detail Coercive Tactics Used by Private Schools

'Harassment and Threats': Parents Detail Coercive Tactics Used by Private Schools

Private Schools in Srinagar Face Parent Ire Over “Coercive” Fee Collection Tactics

Srinagar is simmering with discontent as parents of children enrolled in private schools raise their voices against what they call “coercive” tactics employed by school managements to collect monthly tuition fees.

Several parents have come forward with complaints, alleging that schools are not only demanding advance payment for the current month, but also resorting to phone calls targeting both parents and students, causing immense distress and pressure.

One group of parents expressed strong objection to the schools instructing teachers to directly contact homes and pressure families to clear dues before the month even ends. “This is simply not acceptable,” they stated, emphasizing that schools cannot directly call parents or students at home.

They further highlighted that with the month still ongoing, initiating forceful tactics for fee collection is unwarranted. “While late fees are understandable in case of delayed payments,” they stated, “harassing calls to students and parents are completely uncalled for.”

This frustration with fee collection practices resonates with many parents in Srinagar, as clashes with school managements over monthly fees are reportedly a recurring issue. Parents express disbelief that even banks offering loans are less intrusive than these schools.

One parent, whose child has been enrolled for years, expressed bewilderment at the schools assigning non-teaching staff to make collection calls. “We understand the need for fees,” they said, “but such methods are disrespectful and create unnecessary stress.”

Parents urge schools to abandon these harsh tactics and adopt more respectful and reasonable ways to inform families about outstanding dues, should any arise.

Authorities Weigh In: While Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Tasaduq Hussain Mir remained unavailable for comment, a senior official from the School Education Department (SED) confirmed that schools will be advised against harassing parents.

“Both schools and parents share a long-standing relationship,” the official acknowledged, “and no parent intends to avoid their child’s fees. Schools should refrain from any approach that causes unnecessary stress and annoyance to parents.”

This situation raises crucial questions about the balance between schools’ financial needs and parents’ ability to pay, especially amidst economic challenges. It remains to be seen how effectively the authorities address these concerns and whether schools will adopt more ethical and considerate fee collection practices in the future.

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