YK Poudel

Parents and guardians of students who graduated from Karma Academy last year have voiced their complaints about the deductions made from the security deposit (SD).

Several parents have expressed their concerns on social media platforms and parent group chats, claiming that the school made this decision without prior discussion.

However, as of yet, no official complaint has been filed against the school to the Office of Consumer Protection.

Parents allege that the school failed to consult them before deducting the amount from the SD. They claim that there was neither verbal nor written justification for the deduction.

Leki Tempa, a parent, stated that the school’s maintenance should be the responsibility of the proprietor.

“Initially, we paid Nu 2,000 per head, and we were informed that the SD would be refunded fully. However, this year, when my daughter graduated, we received only Nu 1,570, and the deduction of Nu 430 was not justified,” he said. “Since the students have already paid the tuition fees, the school should make things clear to the parents who are paying the fees.”

Another parent said that the deduction of maintenance fees for school facilities from the security deposit was illogical without proper justification. “The deduction from the security deposit without informing the parents has caused a misconception,” he said.

Dorji, another parent, expressed his opinion that the decision was inappropriate. “The deduction should usually be made from the particular student whose personal equipment is damaged. If there is a mass deduction, consultation with the parents should be made since the parents are paying the SD for their children.”

Another parent suggested: “If the school is willing to deduct the security deposit from all the students irrespective of the damages caused, the school must also bear the interest on the security deposited during admission after two years.”

Rinchen Dema, a guardian, said that such a decision to deduct the SD should pass through the school management board.

“Karma Academy has no management board. Parents must be included and informed when such deductions are decided upon,” she said.

The school principal, Dorji Tshering, confirmed that the decision was made by the proprietor. The proprietor, Karma Wangchuk, defended the decision by stating that it was based on damages and maintenance that were crucial. “The accounts team inspected the damages in the school and deducted Nu 430 per student,” he said.

He further explained: “The security deposit is collected for such cases only. The school appliances, such as toilet latches, doors, and hostel rooms, were in need of maintenance and were damaged by students. That is why we deducted the same amount from all students for its maintenance.”

The Private School Division of the Ministry of Education was not available for comment.