The accused, Maggi Arooja and Melvin D'Cruz, have been booked on charges of cheating based on a complaint from parents.

Officials of unaffiliated Kochi school arrested as 28 students lose chance to write 10th Board
news Crime Monday, February 24, 2020 - 18:04

The Kochi police arrested the directors of Arooja Little Star School at Moolamkuzhi near Thoppumpady on Monday, after class 10 students of the school have been rendered unable to write the board exams.

The school, which is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) only till class 8, had been teaching students up to class 10. It was on arrangement with other CBSE schools in the region that have affiliation that the school had been making its class 10 students write the board exams for the past many years. But this year, with such an arrangement failing, the students could not write the exams that started on Monday.

The school’s directors, Maggi Arooja and Melvin D'Cruz, were arrested based on a complaint from parents. The duo has been charged with sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

Protesting against the school management, Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Youth Congress members held a sit-in protest in front of the school premises on Monday, supporting the affected students and parents. As the protesters continued to block the way to the school, police had to disperse the agitators forcefully.

Meanwhile a section of the parents have now raised allegations that the school authorities used to punish students if there was a delay in paying fees. “If there was any delay, they would keep the students out in the sun. My son has been made to stand out in the sun multiple times because there was a delay in paying the fees,” a mother told the media, sobbing.

“Just two weeks back, when one of the officials saw me she asked me about the fees but did not say a word about this problem. They have cheated us,” she added. 

Police said action will also be taken against the Principal of the school.

In the wake of the incident, Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas said on Monday that parents should exercise caution while admitting their children to schools. “Parents should be careful while admitting children to school, they should ensure that the school has legal sanction. Special caution should be there in the case of CBSE schools. There are a lot of complaints that are coming in stating that class 10 students were not allowed to write board exams since schools did not have affiliation. The district administration has certain limitations in interfering in matters related to CBSE,” the Collector in a statement.

He also said that first and foremost parents should ascertain whether the school has affiliation to the state government. It should also be checked whether the affiliation has been renewed on time, whether NOC (no objection certificate) of the state government has been obtained, and if the school has the CBSE letter permitting extension of affiliation for the school.

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