Thursday, April 24, 2008

Open Letter to Justice CS Dharmadhikari

[9 May 2008: Till today, no response to this open letter, from GIF or GIIS]
Dear Justice CS Dharmadhikari,

We, GIIS Singapore parents, are thankful and glad to have this opportunity to engage you in constructive dialog for the betterment of the institution.

This open letter is in response to your letter titled 'fake parent emails and blogs' received by GIIS parents through myGIIS (18/4/2008).

[Full text of the said letter is included at the end of this article. -Ed]

1. "Everything is fine at all GIIS Schools including the Singapore Schools."

It is unfortunate that students, teachers and parents seem to know the real condition of the schools much better than you do. Everything is not fine. If you are in command, Sir, this is a golden opportunity to act now to save the ship and all of us together. The time for denials has long passed us by. As co-passengers of this ship, we implore you to accept this reality and act on it.

You would recognize the importance of the principle of 'audi alterum partem' (hear the other party) in justice. So, please do hear us out, before you decree that everything is already perfect.

2. "..GIIS is the largest...surpassing the American School..."

Indeed, true.

However: a comparison based on number of students does not comfort us parents in any way - not any longer. At this juncture, we badly want to see quality, not more quantity.

Let us also analyze the admitted fact. In Singapore, the number of Indian expat/NRI children far exceeds the number of American (and other) children who prefer SAS. So, irrespective of quality, the enrollment will only be lower at the American School, for no fault of theirs ! If GIIS/GIF were to claim credit for these statistics, we would all become laughing stock in no time.

3. "GIIS Parents are very happy and so are the teachers and staff."

Parents, "very happy" ? No ! (But, do we count ?)

[There are certain things we are happy about, but then there are certain other things we are unhappy about ! You can't choose one set of things and throw out the other. We do have parents who are willing to let 'chalta hai' be for various reasons. Some of us are truly happy to see the lighter volume of homework compared to MOE schools. Some are moderately happy with cruising on, as long as there is no major upsets to the schooling routine. Some are happy in the belief that the "non-profit" (or even "Bhavan's") school will do the right thing. But this belief has taken a beating. Some among us are really happy with the continuity provided, until we retun home to India upon completion of 1 or 2 year assignment in Singapore. Some may appear happy, as they do not want to speak up for fear of being targetted. This is the composition of the "relatively happy" crowd among us. All things considered, in my opinion, we rarely ever claim to be "very happy". - Parent #3 ]

We know for a fact that quite a few teachers who are overworked and/or underpaid are not exactly "very happy".

Let us re-connect with the reality of the school and feel the pulse on the ground. It is not sufficient to look at the enrollment numbers and feel "very happy".

4. "Recently ....alerted us to a blog which claims to have been written by GIIS parents. We have examined the blog and.... have association with competing Schools in Singapore".

This is a confusing statement. This blog (forabettergiis.blogspot.com) is in no way a recent blog that has only now come to the notice of the school.

(If you are referring to some other blog, please clarify and provide us the specific website address).

This blog is in existence since October 2007 (Look at our first article). About five months ago, a GIIS Announcement issued in Nov 2007 signed by SMC, GIIS, referred to this blog. We have been noticed and tracked (but not responded to!) and we are not a recent entrant.

We are glad to clarify that the authors of this blog are not associated with any "competing schools" in any way, with the following exceptional situations which we can explain:

i) GIIS Malaysia: We provide moral support to the GIIS Malaysia Parents Forum as their issues are similar to ours.

ii) MOE Schools, "Rival" Indian schools: We have had some GIIS parents who had been active in this forum in the past and have since then decided to withdraw from GIIS (following inconclusive meetings with the school on the subject of the fee hike). We do confirm that some of them have moved either to MOE schools or to one of the "competing" Indian schools. We did not ever encourage them to leave GIIS, nor did we ever suggest these alternatives. In fact, their departure is a loss to our cause. (Their primary issues were quality of teaching and long standing transport problems, made worse by the fee hike). We are in no way "associated" with MOE schools or the rival Indian schools, beyond what is mentioned above.

iii) Private Tutors:
For the benefit of our our CBSE French students, we have had guest articles by a French tutor . We have no association, commercial or otherwise, with them or with any other private tutors.

iv) ACS(I) etc: We have had articles discussing the IB results of ACS(I), the Bhavans and NPS of Bangalore, etc. This is not due to any association with any of them.

We will continue to discuss education issues and compare with other schools where necessary.

None of the above is to be construed as being "associated" with other schools.

All our blog authors have signed the Rules of Conduct and abide by it.

Your allegation is baseless and false. Please go through every article on this blog, and you will be convinced.

5. "The blog contains many deliberately misrepresented facts and figures as well as fudged documents."

Absolutely false.

Let us pin-point the specifics. The main facts/figures/documents on this blog are three:

i) The Audited Annual Report of 2005, signed by the Auditor. Authentic to the best of our knowledge.

ii) Accounts figures for 2006. The major items we have published match up, with SLA (Singapore's Land Authority) numbers, estimates of tuition and bus fees etc. Verified to the best of our knowledge and ability.

iii). Bhavan's letter of termination, sent to GIEF. Kindly authenticated by the Additional Registrar of the Bhavan upon our request (email record available with us).

It will help to convince parents, if you could, instead, publish the "true" figures and "true" documents.

6. "The information ... could not have been available ...to any parent and could have been available only to a GIIS senior employee"

Not true. The information we have analysed has been available on the internet and has been available to any interested parent (Two websites given in article). In any case, audited accounts, such as those we have examined, are not meant to be kept as internal secret documents, and are to be shared both internally and externally - thus essentially voiding the claim.

The information GIF has been with-holding, which includes these Audited Annual Reports and important communications from Bhavan's HQ, are of vital interest and importance to parents. Having been funded by parents' hard earned money, GIF could have taken these disclosure obligations more seriously. GIF should publish accurate and comprehensive information in an authentic and timely manner. Since parents as sponsors have a natural right to such important information, in what way can your with-holding of it be justified ? Why should such information be available only to "senior GIIS employees" and GIF top brass ? How do you explain the need for secrecy in a "non-profit charity" ? How do you explain the need for secrecy towards donors, in particular ?

Drawing inspiration from the architects of the Indian RTI, we demand that:
"Disclosure of information should be the rule, and secrecy the exception".

7. "It appears that the blog is edited by a former senior employee of GIIS who had to leave the School..."

No. The former GIIS QT Principal cum GIF Director (Academics) is not editing this blog. We are fairly good at it ourselves.

Your fears, even if they are justifiable, are most unfounded when misplaced on us, parents working for the betterment of the school.

We do not need, nor solicit, nor accept any editing help from anybody other than parents who have signed up after accepting the Rules of Conduct.

[We welcome contributions to the blog, including opinions and views that differ from ours. We continue to welcome GIIS teachers and GIF members to contribute to the blog (subject to their own constraints and obtaining necessary aprovals if any). -Ed]

8. "The blog was started in Feb 08 to confuse the GIIS parents..."

This blog was started by parents in Oct '07 for the betterment of GIIS. (See our first article, Oct '07).

Please do not worry about GIIS parents, our parents are not easily confused. What they lack is access to accurate information. Remedial measures for that are as in (6) above.

[Our search did not find any other blog on GIIS Singapore. -Ed]

9. "... I would appreciate, if you could forward the same to me, so that I will be able to explain everything in detail, if necessary."

Yes, we really appreciate this offer and are glad to accept it with thanks. And indeed, it is necessary to discuss and explain. We are glad to invite you to kindly sign up with our blog so that, together, we may address various parents' concerns raised in this forum. (Writing a blog article or a comment is quite comparable to writing e-mail, in terms of effort/skills needed).

Secondly, please note that we, as parents, have no means of contacting you. Your contact information has not been shared to us by GIF/GIIS.

Please send us your contact details (e-mail/FAX/postal), privately through myGIIS so that all parents can receive it and get in touch with you if necessary.

Meanwhile, we would like you to become familiar with the main issues raised in this blog, by following the links provided below:

1. Surveys and Results
2. Transport
3. Fees
4. "Questions Not Asked"

Conclusion

Dear Sir, we are not fake people to be ignored. We are real, live people with real children whose educational needs have brought us to GIIS. We really believed all the promises of GIIS and GIF and have supported it with real money, hard-earned by the sweat of our brows. Haven't we supported GIF and all its expenses ? We have entrusted our children's future with GIIS. If you summarily dismiss us as fakes, without hearing any of our grievances, you would only have passed a prejudicial judgement - one which fails the jurists' dictum of 'audi alterum partem'.

With some openness, and incorporating some of the truly well-intentioned suggestions given by parents in this forum and elsewhere, GIIS can really become an exemplary institution with a bright future. Let us make that our goal.

We look forward to your response and participation in continued dialog.

With Regards
GIIS Parents @blog

[We thank all parents who have contributed ideas, words, effort, time and moral support in preparing the above open letter].
REQUEST to all commentators: Please be civil and avoid any personal attacks.
Appendix: Letter dated 18/4/2008 from Justice CS Dharmadhikari.


From : GIIS Announcement
Date : 18/4/2008 [dd/mm/yyyy]
Subject : fake parent emails and blogs
Message :


From: Justice CS Dharmadhikari

Dear GIIS Team,

Everything is fine at all GIIS Schools including the Singapore Schools. Progress is happening
on all fronts. The entire team is doing very well under the leadership of our esteemed
Principals and Directors. As you probably know, GIIS Singapore is the largest international
school surpassing the American School in terms of student enrollments, with 3900 students
across all 3 campuses. I am sure you keep getting the other good news via emails
newsletters.

GIIS Parents are very happy and so are the teachers and staff.

However, it is reported to me that, some of us have been receiving emails from so called
GIIS parents which are fake and fabricated. Recently our parents have also alerted us to a
blog which claims to have been written by GIIS parents. We have examined the blog and
would like to inform you that without a doubt, it is part of a larger conspiracy against GIIS by
outsiders or people who have association with schools competing with GIIS in Singapore.

The blog contains many deliberately misrepresented facts and figures as well as fudged
documents. The information presented clearly could not have been available publicly to any
parent and could have been available only to a GIIS senior employee. It appears that the blog
is edited by a former senior employee of GIIS who had to leave the School and happens to
be now working for the competition. The blog was started in Feb 08 to confuse the GIIS
parents and force them to move their children to these competing schools.

I humbly request you to ignore these emails and the fake parent blogs. If you have received
any such emails, I would appreciate, if you could forward the same to me, so that I will be
able to explain everything in detail, if necessary.

I am very much thankful to you for your kind support and co-operation in running the
Schools, established by our Foundation. Your continued support is our strength and wealth,
which I propose to preserve, in all humility and with gratitude.


With Warmest Regards,

Yours sincerely,
Justice C. S. Dharmadhikari,
Vice President, Global Indian Foundation

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear All

If realy GIIS want to improve their quality, they should arrange parents- Management meeting every month. But they want to increase number of student. We are paying fees regulary and they are opening school in diferent loaction. Parents are not active, so they are not bother about quality . In my openion all parents should rise their voice.

Anonymous said...

Firstly I really appreciate all the parents involved in taking effort to keep this blog alive. I am sure this blog resonates with all the other parents of GIIS students. As for the parent - management meeting, I suggested this to the GIISBL principal few days back and the request was passed to Mr Kaustubh Bodhankar, for his consideration. So far now news from him.

need PTA not PSG for BL said...

re: above topic. many have asked, BL,Balestier as BL doesn't even have a PSG. A proper PTA is needed for BL, not the PSG system as in QT/EC. PSG system is only giving privilege which can be misused. PSG wil not bother about voicing parents real issues because they are not allowed or they are getting some advantages. In PTA system the leaders can be voted out by parents and they must by rule share info with us. As of now PSG never asks questions to school managment, just follows instruction and has meetings with management but does not inform us. PTA will be independent from management, it will have power to take up our issues and can share meeting minutes too as it will be more on parents side. So we need PTA not PSG to raise up our problems. It is a must.

Real Parents not fake. said...

Yes, I completely agree with said above about PTA not PSG.
A Real Parent.

Good rejoinder said...

Well written, balanced and objective.It is most unfortunate that the school does not utilise the talent and skill of these well meaning parents who run the blog. I have a lurking fear that GIIS will never listen to good sense.

A rather fitting and respectable reply to Justice Dharmadhikari. Let us wish and hope that he does not become ' a judge in his own case'-translation of another Latin expression!

Jack said...

Commendable & befitting reply!
All parties should keep in mind that belittling any group or forum will not achieve anything. We all have to work together for a better GIIS: Owners, admin, teachers, parents & students.
If we do it in a positive and constructive environment, we will achieve our goals. Otherwise we will become a laughing stock for others.

Ravi said...

I only hope that the name and signature of the retired Justice Dharmadhikari has not been misused/used without his knowledge. If he has sent the mail in reference, then one hopes he called for the facts , got a ground feel for himself ( without getting tutored) and wrote what he finally did. Whatever the case, by writing such one sided mail/message , far removed from truth, the old man has injured his reputation and the reputation of elderly people like him.It is not a good thing to happen to our children.Are they not entitled to get better examples?

is VPs mail fake said...

Dear Ravi, an interesting and not impossible conjecture...especially considering that H N Dastur in his message alleges that GIF 'forged signatures', this can't be ruled out. But for now, let us keep an open mind that the VP's message itself was not fake !

(Unless this 'Dharmadhikari' message vanishes from myGIIS just like the so-called nasty mail of 2007 had vanished....then it would be self evident!)

happy principals said...

So, has the respected retired justice responded? Or is it one more 'one way news' just to keep people happy. Quite interestingly the Bangkok school has had the thid principal in less than one year! Mr.Winston, Mrs Rachna Pant and now one Mr.Mudgal.It would be interesting to know from Mr.Dharmadhikari why so many 'happy' principals are happily leaving at such unhappy regular intervals?

Anonymous said...

FROM A CLASS XII PARENT

GIIS SEEMS TO HAVE A HABIT OF DOWNGRADING FACILITIES WITH THE FEES HIKE. IT HAPPENNED EARLIER WHEN THEY SHIFTED FROM MOUNT SOPHIA CAMPUS TO QUEENSTOWN, THE STUDENTS HAVE TO DO WITHOUT AIRCON BECAUSE OF CAMPUS COSTS. RECENTLY CLASS XII STUDENTS WERE SHIFTED FROM AIRCONDITIONED CLASSROOMS TO NON-AIRCONDITIONED CLASSROOMS. WHEN THE STUDENTS HAVE MET THE PRINCIPAL REGARDING THIS COMPARING THEMSELVES WITH IB CLASSROOMS (WHICH HAVE AIRCONS), THEY WERE INFORMED THAT THE IB STUDENTS ARE UNDER A DIFFERENT FEE STRUCTURE. ARENT CBSE STUDENTS AND THEIR RESULTS EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO GIIS??
AFTER ALL GIIS IS AN INDIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL.

THE CLASSROOMS WHICH THE STUDENTS ARE PROVIDED NOW HAVE FLAP WINDOWS WHICH ALLOWS LITTLE AIR CIRCULATION, AND THE FANS MAKE A LOT OF NOISE. MANY TIMES, THE TEACHERS ARE FORCED TO SWITCH OFF THE FANS AS THE STUDENTS AT THE BACK CANT HEAR. ITS IRONICAL THAT GIIS COMPARES THEMSELVES TO SAS ONLY IN TERMS OF STUDENTS STRENGTH.

THE OLDER CLASSROOMS WHICH THE STUDENTS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM ARE EARMARKED FOR IGCSE AND IB STUDENTS NEW BATCHES. WITH THIS THIS FEE HIKE, IT IS UNJUSTIFIABLE FOR GIIS TO DO THIS.

I HOPE THIS COMMENT CAN HELP CLASS XII PARENTS GET TOGETHER AND RESOLVE THIS WITH THE SCHOOL

Anonymous said...

Students of primary & secondary have non-AC classrooms too.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Dharmadhikari,

It is very nice of you to sit in the cool comfort of the Nariman point office and preach to us on humility and simplicity.We read your lovely epistle to 'your' team with amusement and interest.How long, sir, will you continue to sign on letters drafted by the someone at Singapore? You say that everyone is happy. And we get news of principals leaving at regular intervals, teachers getting no increment or negligible amount,senior most students undergoing the 'national curriculum -CBSE'sweating it out while their own IGCSE and IB brothers are 'alloted' airconditioned rooms ( perhaps to fall in line with our hon'ble HRD minister's pet policy of "reservations"),a new division every month like Global Indian Resource Centre, Global Indian Educational Excellence,Brilliant Global, Pace Global, Career Launcher Global and now GCEE...! YES SIR. WE ARE A HAPPY LOT! WHERE ELSE CAN WE GET SO LITTLE EDUCATION BUT SO MANY ADVISORS, SO NEGLIGENT A RESPONSE BUT SO MANY NEW CENTRES,,SUCH POORLY PAID TEACHERS BUT SUCH A RICH TEAM OF NON-ACADEMIC STAFF?? WE WERE ONLY EXPORTING INDIAN LABOUR AND INDIAN BRAIN ALONG WITH BASMATI SO FAR. BUT NOW, THANKS TO YOU,SIR, INDIA HAS ALSO EXPORTED INDIAN STYLE OF JUSTICE!!!!

Anonymous said...

GIIS Principal's Message - Quote

In this journey towards excellence I shall look forward to and appreciate your valuable understanding and support. An ideal school community embraces students, parents and teachers.

Mr. GSS Rao

Unquote

International schools in Singapore do not downgrade facilities for their students. They only upgrade facilities, and neither do they differentiate students of different curriculums.
By doing so, GIIS seems to convey to children embracing CBSE - Indian curriculum that they are inferior to their IB counterparts.

How is it possible that GIIS is looking at the fee structure only this year, whereas there was always a difference between CBSE and IB fees in the earlier years too??

May be the Principal should answer the students request after understanding his own message which is in the website
- An ideal school community embraces teachers, parents and students.

And for the hike by Land Authorities, which GIIS claims, other international schools too are facing the same, but they dont downgrade facilities of the students.

DPS with a smaller strength are still able to maintain the same.

And for a difference of 262$ per month, IB students get better facilities. If GIIS is looking at the fee structure, they should realise that CBSE students are more in strength nearly 3 times more of IB students. A class strength of nearly 25 students with one teacher for CBSE (totally 55 students in CBSE) whereas for IB, the total strength is 15.

Collectively, they gain more out of CBSE than IB. And IB trained teachers are paid more.

May be they should give their students more facilites, rather than developing new schools.

caste system said...

Not many people realize that the fees for second year of IB students was quietly raised 2006-07 without formal announcment. Similarly the fees for std XII of CBSE was raised in April 2007.That is , std XI fees was different from std XII fees and the parents were not told about it when they registered their children. Mr.Dharmadhikari is humbly sucking our blood without any promise of quality.This act of 'discrimination' is not surprising at all.Caste system chasing us across the ocean!

Anonymous said...

Parents need to voice out their opinion, come forward and take a stance against the school.

For the amount of money thats being paid as fees, the facilities of an International school are lacking in GIIS. If the profit figures are authentic, why is GIIS not interested in enhancing the quality of education & facilities for its students and are spending on expensive annual days, (the brochures which were given must have been cost a lot too) and opening new schools?
For the amount of money that has been spent on the Indoor Stadium Event they could have airconditioned all classrooms, improved sports facilites, rise teachers pay... Many parents of higher class students are spending out hundreds of dollars for tuitions. And GIIS saw this opportunity and immediately opened a tuition centre with the same teachers. When a School itself opens a tuition centre in its premises, it shows the quality of education thats being imparted there.

The parents are to be blamed too as they are tolerant of all thats happening to their children. Many of the Indian parents do not like to speak for fear of withdrawal from the school. Even local private kindergartens have better facilites than GIIS with lesser fees.

Parents should stop behaving like Indian voters, and should clearly demand value for their money. If parents complain not only to the school as a group, but take up the case to MOM there would definitely be a positive change.

MOM takes serious steps for feedbacks about its (Local) schools.

Its wishful thinking that this school will change by itself. And being Indians, we tend to think someone will take the initative and that someone will not be me.

Last year alone, 88 GIIS students have joined EtonHouse International School. Eton House has grown too consistently over the last few years, and their facilites have increased (along with fees) considerably too

So Parents why dont you all join together and put a stop to this s.....!!!!

Anonymous said...

REg the comment about parents taking up the issue, it is with MOE and not MOM....

So far, all International schools (including DPS & NPS) have airconditioned classrooms in Singapore with the exception of GIIS.

GIIS provides airconditioned classrooms to students who do not take the Indian Curriculum CBSE - IGCSE, IB students are given priority reg usage of facilities in the school.

Shekar said...

People will continue to crib, GIF & GIIS teams will continue to offer poor quality and make big money for themselves, actors, cricketers,corporate bosses,judges,diplomats will continue to get added on to the advisory board..none of this will ever change as long as parents do not get together openly and brazenly.I can understand GIIS victimising one,five or ten parents. But will they dare act against hundreds?How long are we going to waste our had earned money like this? In fact, if fifty or hundred of us get together, we can build a residential school for our kids in India!! Or help some one - not NPS or DPS or any existing guys here- start a school here, run it for a slender ,healthy profit.

be fair said...

The school is already reserving the better lot of teachers to CBSE X and XII hoping for better results. Lower classes are suffering from losing good teachers to X and XII.

So is it fair if air-con is also reserved for CBSE XII only ?

About IB, it is obviously the CBSE parents who are supporting IB expense. So it is unfair to give them more and more privilege.

Anonymous said...

I would be glad for anyone who can get us the latest and valid contact details of MGK Menon, Shashi Tharoor,Karan Singh and this man Piyush? There is no use barking at the wrong tree. I mean, there is no use knocking at the doors of Justice. Those of us from Nagpur know about his background.

Anonymous said...

Conatct details for Prof.M.G.K Menon that are on Internet:

K-5 (Rear) Hauz Khas Enclave

New Delhi-110016,

Tel:011-26511454

mgkmenon@ren02.nic.in

Anonymous said...

Shashi Tharoor's direct email is not known. One feed back email for his website is as follows:
feedback@shashitharoor.com
Tharoor's Postal address:
Shashi Tharoor, Chairman
Afras Ventures
230 Park Avenue, Suite 2525
New York, NY 10169

Anonymous said...

Also from Internet:
Dr Karan Singh
"Mansarovar" 3, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110 003
Ph: 2611 1744, 2611 5291
Fax: 2687 3171

Anonymous said...

Class XII students in all Schools get the best teachers (though the quality of the same is still disputable at GIIS) as its the turning point in a students life.

With the humid climate in Singapore, and with the fees hiked to 800 plus every month, its fair that aircons should be provided.

Even buses in singapore are airconditioned. And tuition centers are airconditioned too.

No one complains about aircons in local school as the fees paid is negligible.

Even adults cant imagain an office without aircons. So is it unfair to ask for aircons????

need correct contact details said...

There was no response from the email address given above for Shashi Tharoor (same address was on this blog with Dr Tharoor announcement) in 3 weeks + 2 follow ups.

Why is GIF not providing us parents the REACHABLE contact address of all advisors. If any advisor does not want to respond to parents it is upto them. But GIF has a moral duty to publish correct contact info and should not hide its advisors from parents.

Has anybody successfully reached even one advisor ? Got even one response ? Please report if you have had any success !

help said...

Need confirmation on this: The transfer of a/c class room from class XII to IGCSE is reportedly being justified as "because IGCSE pays higher fees" !

1. Can a class XII parent/student confirm this & identify the school authority credited with this saying ?

2. Can class XII & IGCSE parents please share the fee data for comparing ?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Air conditioning & mobile phone usage etc are minor issue compared to quality of education,CBSE board results, IB results. Anyway majority of primary & secondary classes are non-ac. Though I truly understand how unjust it would be if the school is being money-baised. In my opinion since we cannot win all our battles we should pick them wisely. Also how is general feed back on the way school is handling ECA, CCA & SUPW?

Anonymous said...

Yes. The biggest question is why the secrecy ? Why no response to this letter so far, neither here and nor through MYGIIS ?

The above letter referred to RTI (Right to Information Act of India) . I think it is meant as a moral point and not a legal point. Still, there should be a sense of justice and at least 10% of Gandhian "values and thoughts" guiding the self-professed Gandhians.

It is only fair that those who are SUBSTANTIALLY FINANCING the institutions (i.e. WE PARENTS) should have a say, and be accounted to. We are denied even a hearing by the so-called high priests of the Foundation. They keep talking highly of themselves through press releases and advertisements while not even giving us a courtesy response.

From a RTI news report:
Recently, Mrs.Justice Prabha Sridevan, in her lecture delivered at the law faculty in the University of Madras on 29.3.2007, highlighted the importance of RTI Act and its necessity to apply in the Non-Governmental Organisations in the following lines: "Ideally the new Act, Right to Information Act should apply to all the sections of society and not (only) to the governmental sector. Non-governmental organisations like NGOs, charitable trusts or trade unions should be just as accountable and as transparent as the Government in a developing democracy. There should be proactive distribution of information."
(emphasis added)

GIF Chairman Atul Temurnikar as the founder and the only top office bearer who is locally resident must respond to the open letter urgently. In any case, we know that he is the one who controls the whole show behind the elaborate array of Patrons, Advisors and Board. The Chairman should not hide behind these pawns any more.

send it direct said...

Send the last comment to Mr.Temurnikar to his official ID.Even if we presume that GIIS management is reading these comments, we are better off by mailing it to him if we expect him to respond. Of course,the mail can be sent from a common ID to avoid victimisation of the children. By the way, what is the Indian High Commission doing to mitigate the situation? If the High Commissioner can condescend to attend the 'Graduation Ceremony' of std XII students,he should be equally answerable for the thousands of parents who hold Indian passports!

Girish said...

One of the parents has raised the issue of taking up only a few specific issues and concentrate, notably on IB,CBSE results and the quality of education. If my memory serves me right, we have had a poll on this and there have also been long discussions on the IB results.

But it won't harm having another discussion, especially as the new academic year has just started.The blog editors can, perhaps, open a forum inviting objective views on various spheres of academics ; classroom teaching, preparedness of teachers, correction and follow-up, the adequacy of lab equipment and their usage, the use of library by students and teachers, the special attention to slow learners, special classes of people who join late ( GIIS admits students every day of the academic year!),the consistancy and standard of teaching across various sectiosn of the same class etc., All other things like CCA,ECA,canteen, toilets,transport can be taken up later. In any case, we know the quality of these things at GIIS!

sdm said...

Regarding the RTI comment and applicability to GIIS.
I think the fundamental issue is one of accountabilty (or the lack of it).
- Neither MoE regulations nor Indian rules seem to apply to it.
This is the grey area we need to address.
Please comment.

Anonymous said...

For students who need extra assistance, as a concerned parent who is sending my child to tuitions for board exam preparations, I would recommend the following center which gives true value for money

www.topperztuitions.com

where the teachers are genuinely concerned for the students to achieve results and do not expect to be paid by the minute. It doesnt advertise and have grown only on students and parents recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Reg the aircon issue, its of genuine concern as the students are grown and its not easy for them to concentrate long hours of lectures in a class sweating out.

Always GIIS had aircons for higher classes. The deprivation of facilities and unfair treatment of CBSE students is what provokes the issue. IB students are able to enjoy whereas CBSE are treated like poorer counterparts. And GIIS has a Mahatma Gandhi Statue and Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Values & Thoughts. His teaching of treating everyone equally cant be followed by the school.

Gandhi must be turning on in his grave.

GIIS- Preach what you Practise ----- Dont treat Indian curriculum students in the same way as International Curriculum Students.
(Gandhis values)

The concern is the attitude of GIIS. How can there be a better GIIS when they dont even have an interest to make it better??

Anonymous said...

Dear help

I am a class XII parent. I can confirm that when Class XII have been transferred to non-aircon classes, the class students went in and requested Mr.Rao the principal to shift them back.

He said there were no classes. There were empty (Airocnditioned) classrooms but he informed them that they were earmarked for new IGCSE XI and IB XII. Then they asked him about IB aircon classrooms for which he replied they are under a different fee structure.
There are 25 students who witnessed it.

And Atul's son also studies in the same class.

For fee structure, CBSE pays $805.75 per month and IB pays $1196.25

The present CLASS XII (Science) has only 15 IB Kids whereas the strength of CBSE is 48.
Collectively they get $38676.00 plus Commerce $5640.25 whereas IB fees collected will be $17943.75

Meanwhile the commerce batch is still in airconditioned class.

The teacher resources are higher in IB and the school invests a lot on IB trained teachers.
Ultimately CBSE students are paying for IB.

Anonymous said...

soory an error in my earlier message,

class xii cbse science - students strength - 48
class xii cbse commerce - 7
class xii ib students - 15

and the new ib intake for class xi is around 50 to 60

Jack said...

I checked the website of Topperz. The centre seems to be quite good according to the testimonials. The tuitions seem to be for students from class 8 & above. Thanks dear parent for sending in the link.
I was looking through the testimonials there and it seemed that not only the subject knowledge but the connection that the students feel with their teacher is of paramount importance.
Earlier in this blog forum in “Student Issues” there was a student complaining that hidden talents of students are not recognized in the school.
All this has set me thinking…
We must be heterogeneous group of individuals with diverse talents and educational background. Some may be teachers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, photographers, industrialists, writers, painters, musicians, dancers…the list can go on. Some may have studied in universities abroad where our secondary students intend to go. Many of us must be possessing skills, talents that our primary or secondary students can make use of.
Can we form a community of parents contributing, free of cost, for may be an hour a week to GIIS students who seek our help. We can think of logistics and chart out how to execute the plan, but first let us decide are we willing to contribute our time and impart our knowledge to our coming generations.
I am willing to do so. Please let me have your feed back on this, how many of us are willing…its our chance to act!
For it’s in giving that we receive…

Anonymous said...

Singapore Indian Education Trust is a non-profit, educational, charitable foundation in Singapore.

They publish their financial reports on the web, like this.

Our own GIF hides their financial reports away from the public eye. It groans when leaked copies are discovered by parents and public.

Mr Temurnikar: Please place all the financial reports, current and past years, in public view. Or, tell us why you can't do that.

Financial Officers of GIF&GIIS have a responsibility too, for financial integrity and transparency. (Let us not forget that the arm of the law is long...that is how Biscuit King Rajan Pillai's loyal chartered accountant landed in the net in 1997 in Changi).

Thirdly, Principals as heads of institutions also have their duty to do the right thing as far as GIIS schools are concerned. If they approve dubious transfers and dubious expenses under verbal orders (or even written orders that are easily destroyed like myGIIS vanishing emails), will Temurnikar protect them ?

(Please don't take my word. Get your own legal opinion to validate what I said above).

murmur said...

I seek certain clarifications.

Do principals have financial powers? CBSE expects principals to have total autonomy but in real practice ,it is the managers, correspondents and chairpersons who call the shot, I am told. Very often principals do not even have signatory power.If at all, they are co-signatories with a higher limit fixed. In any case, GIIS , for accounting purposes,is not a school. It is a company. So no rules apply. But CBSE is expected to check this and in case of violation, withdraw recognition. We know this also will not happen in this case because of Dr.Ashok Ganguly.

How does one get to view GIF accounts publicly as mentioned here.

principals have $ authority said...

Regarding the comments fron murmur,
I have heard from very close and reliable source that, Yes principals do have the financial authority upto certain amount. Even I heard that NP termination was due to he denied to sign few wine bills.

Anonymous said...

1. Principal has signing power with some $ limit.

2. One factual mistake in above is, NK had resigned (not terminated).

About wine bills etc, not sure!

I heard he wanted teachers to be paid a bit more but without fee hike.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-GIIS parent, maybe it is not my place to write here, but let me chime in anyway with my 2 cents.

Having heard similar answers from school staff during PTA meetings, and seen similar letters in the past, I find it very strange to see such letters from justice CSD even now after these years.

If these were just growth pangs one would expect to see these issues addressed and solved systematically. I really didn't expect the exact same problems year after year followed by the same hollow insincere answers from school staff.

As for the claim that "everything is fine in GIIS" and that "GIIS parents are very happy", my wife and I have been given this same feedback last year and the year before last, when things were definitely not fine and parents were positively ruffled. I can't pass judgement on this today, but if the past is any indicator of the real state of things, I am glad we made the move and switched our son to an MOE school from this year.

It would not be too far off the mark to say that most GIIS parents and staff are Indians from India, and we need to accept that we come with the corresponding mental and attitudinal baggage. However, being in Singapore we can really learn a lot about the way things are run here, specially with respect to the professionalism, work ethic, how problems are addressed and the truly impressive handling of parent-teacher relationships and communication.

We were promised a lot when my son was in GIIS but I didn't feel like hanging around long enough to find out if that was really going to happen, but who knows? I will be watching.

let's challenge the judge said...

Justice C S Dharmadhikari must be quite shameless to write such a mail and not bother to face the follow-up. I am restrained only by the blog editors' ban on foul language.Otherwise this retired judge deserves a more harsh language. If he wants to stay away from trouble, he should not have sent that mail of 18th April 2008. Having sent that, he should have the decency to respond to the issues raised here. One can always say that the blog is not a formal forum,faceless and lacks credibility.OK.How do we know that the mail was sent by him? Was it signed? Are the authors of the blog, all genuine ,fee paying parents,jobless to forge letters from Bhavans and accounts documents? If the blog is telling lies, can we persuade the blog editors to challenge the retired judge to take recourse to law? If the retired judge believes in justice, let him respond to this open letter. What Gandhian principles does he follow?

hindu said...

The Hindu 7 May 2008 on School Fees

QUOTE:

Joint Secretary and Regional Officer of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) N. Nagraju said schools affiliated to the Board had autonomy in deciding their fee structures. “The increase should be commensurate with the facilities,” he said.

Schools were also expected to submit audit reports for affiliation and recognition, he added.

Lack of transparency?

Parents complained not just about the increase, but also about the lack of information. “We need to know where the money is going,” said a member of the PTA of a school in central Chennai.

UNQUOTE

Which means, GIIS must submit audit reports to CBSE for affiliation and recognition ?

sdm said...

See this report :

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1166668

Justice says he did not "receive any open letter" !

Should we send him the letter by snail mail ?

to dharmadhikari said...

It is reliably learnt from a source that Mr Dharmadhikari visited Singapore the previous week (May 17 - 18..20th?) and appeared at East Coast campus only. Very unusual.

Questions to Dharmadhikari:
1: If you did not receive the parents' open letter as you claim to DNA-India newspaper, why did you visit hush-hush and avoid the Queenstown campus ?

2: If the parents here are fake as you claim to DNA-India newspaper, will you please explain why these supposedly 'fake parents' are so aware and interested in every little thing that is happening in your school ?

3: If GIF and GIIS are non profit and above board, why hide not only financials but also, as we see lately, even exam results of cbse class 12 ?

Anonymous said...

In Charities to get rated (TODAY paper of 30-7-2008) Commissioner of Charities (COC) & Charity Council say it will
“facilitate a culture of greater disclosure and transparency, and of informed giving,”

So if Vice Pres. Dharmadhikari wants less disclosure he should resign from his post.

Anonymous said...

I was told that GIIS is starting in Hong Kong...can anybody confirm this news ?