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Govt to probe Lonavala school closure due to fund crunch

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The state school education department on Wednesday ordered an independent inquiry into the closing down of The Cathedral Vidya School in Lonavala (CVSL) over financial crisis. This, after parents of students studying in the school wrote to Gaikwad on Wednesday, seeking justice.

The Deputy Director of Education, Pune, under whose jurisdiction the school fall, will conduct the probe. The management of the residential school facility, offering IB and Cambridge curriculum, had last Saturday informed its teaching and non-teaching staff as well as parents via an email that it is no longer financially viable to continue operations due to losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was two days before the new academic session was about to start. Audumbar Ukirde, Deputy Director of Education, Pune, said, “We have received a complaint from the parents. A representative will be sent to the school on Thursday to conduct an independent inquiry. Further plan of action will be decided on the basis of the findings.”

“As per rule, the school management is expected to give one calendar year’s notice before shutting down. We will have to gather details in this case before moving ahead,” he added.

In a letter to Gaikwad, the parents said, “There is panic and shock among parents who are either taking admission randomly in whichever school is willing to take them or desperately hoping for a miracle that would keep the school running for at least another year. The desperation… is resulting in the wrong choice of school, compromise on subject selection, extra fees, etc. Those who are unable to pay the exorbitant amounts quoted by other schools are left feeling helpless and miserable, with their children going through extreme emotional duress and in some cases, even physical illnesses.”

The letter claimed that while the management has claimed that the school has not seen any new admission, 45 new students are ready to take admission.

“Let your action and subsequent consequences be a precedent warning to other institutions also, who will not dare to play with the lives of students in future,” the parents wrote to the minister.

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