PTA moves Child Rights Commission to save St Mary’s School principal

More than 20 days after the south zone education inspector sent a notice to the principal of St Mary's School (ICSE), Mazgaon, for being over the retirement age, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) has moved Child Rights Commission stating change in the school and its functioning in the middle of an academic year would affect students adversely.

Fr Kenneth Misquitta (68) was appointed principal in 2011, said education department officials.

In its January 14 order, the department asked the school authorities to relieve Misquitta with immediate effect or face action.

However, parents opposed the order. "It's qualification and experience that should be given importance. Misquitta is an excellent educationist and a good principal," said one.

Hearing in the matter was held Tuesday morning.

"We are studying the case and have asked parents to file an affidavit. We will also see what the education department has to say. The matter will be taken up at the next hearing, the date for which is yet to be fixed," said Ujjwal Uke, acting chairman of Child Rights Commission and principal secretary of the women and child development department.

The matter came to light after a complaint was filed by Nana Kute Patil of NGO Buland Chhava. Patil had filed an RTI query to 39 private non-state board schools and the first reply he got was from St Mary's.

School education department officials said section 3 (1) of Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977, applicable to all private schools fixed the retirement age at 58.

Education inspector of south zone Balasaheb Mane said, "We sent two representatives to the hearing today. We will present our side at the hearing."

Misquitta was unavailable for comment.

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