Vibgyor school blocked access to online classes for many kids on 5th August. One of the parent felt bad and shared his thoughts at http://vicharpravah.com/my-daughters-education-am-i-bad-parent/ . Many parents connected with the tale of a father and daughter. Some parents have already been fighting for their rights with the school hence like-minded parents started getting together.
We realized that most parents can afford fee but their apprehension is on Value for Money and compliance of the law of land by private schools. 100s of parents had written to school management to roll-back hike, provide justification for Annual fee, follow Govt directives but in vain. We found that school was even discriminating with certain kids where parents were ready to pay un-hiked tuition fee but school did not provide the option while it provided same option to some other parents.
Parents Volunteers Group Formation:
Post 5-Aug and even before, Many parents got in action mode and got together to deal with the situation. Lots of suggestions poured in next few days, e.g. e-mails to authorities, meet Vibgyor mgmt, meet MLAs/MPs, make parents aware of their rights, ask TC in mass, enroll kids in other schools even if school does not provide TC, approach education minister, approach KSCPCR, approach human rights, protests, file child harassment case against school mgmt, etc etc. We vetted each one of them and thought that lets take baby steps and talk to VBG mgmt first.
100s of parents wrote back to school helpdesk and Principal email-id but usually got standard response. Many reported our issues to BEOs, KSCPCR and other authorities but did not see any significant action.
Meeting with Honorable MLA, Bommanahalli:
One of the parent approached our area MLA, Sri Sathish Reddy on 7-Aug and got his appointment on 9-Aug, 9 AM. Some Parents met him and He listened to our grievances and made some calls to get connect with Vibgyor Bengaluru Head. Detailed minutes can be read HERE. Mr. Muneer (AGM – Operations, VIBGYOR, Bengaluru) gave time to meet on 13-Aug.
Meanwhile, many parents continued to write to school and authorities without much response and few of us learnt that some kids were allowed by paying only tuition fee (as of last year). About 10 parents met MLA and Vibgyor mgmt on 13-Aug, 12 PM as planned. We listed 4 basic requirements from parents:
- Roll-back of hike (as per Govt Directive)
- No Annual Fee till proper justification
- Adjustment of whatever fee paid towards tuition fee
- Allow each and every kid to attend classes with dignity without prejudice
Vibgyor mgmt seemed to agree with our demands/grievances and mentioned that they would talk to Chairman, Mr. Rustom Kerewalla and get back to us in a day or two. Detailed minutes can be read HERE.
Meeting with Honorable Education Minister, Karnataka on 17-Aug:
We waited for few days but again, no response from Vibgyor mgmt so one of the parents approached Education Minister, Honorable Sri Suresh Kumar and got an appointment on 17-Aug early morning. Aggrieved parents met Honorable Minister at 11 AM at Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan office. We shared our grievances and he was very moved by it and assured us of action. We also handed over signed letter with our grievances. Meeting and other updates can be read HERE.
Minister sir assured us to discuss with Advocate General to understand and advise to take actions accordingly. He suggested to followup with him directly via SMS. One of the volunteer got his number and became SPOC from parents side. We got good vibes after talking to him and hopefully, we will see some results soon.
The volunteer followed up with Minister sir subsequently and got the response that he is working on it. On 29-Aug Morning, volunteer got a call from Office of Commissioner, Department of Public Instruction to come and meet Education Minister and authorities on 31-Aug, 5 PM at Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan office.
Legal case on Vibgyor School
70+ parents came together and filed a legal case against Vibgyor school for deficiency in service and many other points. One may search at http://karnatakajudiciary.kar.nic.in/websitenew/casedetails/case_details.php and choose ‘Case Type’ as ‘Writ Petition’, ‘Case Number’ as 8878 and year as 2020, to get details and current status on the case. In short, it is referred as WP/8878/2020.
3 hearings have happened so far, on 23-Jul, 27-Jul and on 1-Sep. Next one is scheduled shortly. On 23-Jul, honorable judge recused himself and referred to another judge. on 27-Jul, honorable judge ordered to issue notices to all parties. On 1-Sep, it was again listed that notices have not been received by all respondents number 1 to 18. Notices are being sent and due to Covid situation, they are getting delayed. We are now waiting for next dates to take stay on blocking of kids education for parents.
More updates as and when it happens. Keep an eye.
TV Media and Print Media:
Meanwhile, Media started noticing some of these developments and “Mirror Now” TV News Channel Reporter Neha connected with few parents on 18-Aug, late evening. Neha visited some of the homes next morning and parents shared their concerns on LIVE News. It came Live on 19-Aug, 9.20 AM. News clipping is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guo_Mwqu4ak
We also saw that even Print Media gave coverage and many articles started appearing e.g. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/schools-parents-lock-horns-over-fees-payment/articleshow/77513540.cms .
If you have got access to any article or have given any bytes to media, do share so that we can consolidate it for the benefits of lakhs of parents.
Connecting with Affected Parents of All schools at Bengaluru:
Meanwhile, some of us kept meeting regularly online to take the matter forward. Many parents shared their comments on Vicharpravah Article, on LinkedIn Posts, Facebook Posts and Twitter Posts. We felt that problem is not unique to only Vibgyor but lots of parents from other schools are also affected.
We thought of getting all aggrieved parents together on a single platform hence telegram group is created. You might like to join telegram group at https://t.me/joinchat/AiFHkBcrKpyDUJKNwGlBtg .
Meeting with Honorable Education Minister and Senior Officials on 31-Aug, 5 PM
Aggrieved Parents (from Vibgyor School) attended the meeting called by the Honourable Education Minister and while arriving at the venue learnt that parents from 5-6 other schools have also come to meet Honourable Education Minister. Meetings was also attended by Commissioner of Public Instructions (IAS), Dr. K. G. Jagadeesha, Education Dept Officials (DDPIs, BEOs), Govt. appointed Advocate and many others including Parents from other Schools. Lots of doubts and lies of school management were cleared by authorities.
Updates of the 31-Aug meeting is available at http://vicharpravah.com/meeting-with-honorable-education-minister-officials-on-31-aug/ . Do go through it fully as it includes many interesting information which is otherwise hidden from Parents. It is always good to know your rights.
We are continuing the path till we get the desired outcome. We will be updating whatever progress we make, on regular basis. If you are an aggrieved parent than you may also file a formal complaint. You may read the article, “How to raise complaint against Unjustified School Fee?” to get relevant information.
Meanwhile, do join the journey by being part of Telegram group if you relate to this.