About 240 students of Velocity Junior College in Hyderabad have been left in limbo as the intermediate college has been shut indefinitely due to non-payment of rent for the premises. The junior college did not inform the students about the closure, according to students’ parents, who are worried about the 2019 intermediate board exams that are just around the corner after February.

The parents of these students protested before the Velocity Junior College premises at Vengalrao Nagar in SR Nagar in Hyderabad. They are seeking answers from the college management which have not responded to parents since the shutdown.

The parents approached the SR Nagar Police station to register an FIR. However, the police declined to file an FIR and only took a formal complaint. Some of the parents allege that the police at SR Nagar police station are stalling from filing a formal FIR.

“The police received our complaint on Wednesday itself but refused to register an FIR that day. The inspector told us to come on Thursday and now he is asking us to wait until Friday as they wish to talk to the Velocity Junior College management,” said Poojitha J, a former actress whose son is a second-year student at the junior college.

The students and parents say the classes at the junior college has been irregular for the past six months. The junior college offers intermediate classes for students akin to regular schools but often combines the classes with coaching for engineering, EAMCET, CA, NEET and IIT preparations.

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These coaching classes offered by private junior colleges in Telangana operate outside the rules set by the Telangana Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE), the nodal agency responsible for regulating and supervising intermediate education in the state.

“We don’t have the faculty to conduct the classes here at Velocity. The second-year intermediate classes started in July 2018 and we have the final board exam in February end but since September last year, the lecturers have not been regular. Last year for Physics subject alone, eight lecturers changed. Out of the 20 practicals for Chemistry, we have only done five,” said Nithya, a second-year student.

Poojitha, who is representing the parents before the school management and the police, noted, “The children just go to college and come back. They do not even get permission to meet the principal to register their complaints. We still send the children as they require attendance to attend the final intermediate board exams.”

But the junior college management has already collected tuition fees in the range of Rs 2-3 lakh per student. Some of the parents have been asked to shell out Rs 60,000 if they wish their child to attend the final board exam.

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“They collect too much fees. After paying the fees they say we should pay more, or else they would minus the marks of the student,” said another parent who did not wish to be identified, “Within the first week of enrolling my child I came to understand that this was not a good institution but decided to continue as we already paid huge amounts,” the parent added.

The parents say despite taking money, the junior college management has neither issued study materials to the students, nor do they have a well-established lab at the premises.

“There is no equipment in the lab. They don’t even have Sodium Chloride, which is salt that one can get for Rs 18 from a general store,” quipped Charitharyan, another second-year intermediate student.

“They are citing the issue of rent being the reason behind the closure, but that should be of no concern to the students. It’s a management problem. The school management even shifted 40 students to another institute at Kukatpally without informing their own parents,” Poojitha added.

However, some parents are of the view that an amicable solution should be reached as the intermediate board exams are just a month away. “We have suffered so much It’s just another two months and we can be done with this. Though the college is shut, the students will be able to write the board exam as they have been registered through another institute,” said Ravi, father of a second-year intermediate student. Some of the parents feared that their children may have to repeat their second-year intermediate due to the lack of adequate preparations for the competitive exams.

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“We often thought of changing the college after the first year but the management refused to give us transfer certificates. They say we should pay 60% of the second year fee to leave the college,” said Lakshmiprasalla, another student at Velocity Junior College.

The parents met with BIE officials and filed a formal complaint against the institution. Speaking to #KhabarLive, the Board of Intermediate Education officials said that around 40 parents from other branches of the institute have also come forward with complaints against the institution.

“We will investigate the matter and if the college management is found guilty, we will not grant them affiliation for the next academic year,” said B Jayaprada the District Intermediate Educational Officer (DiEO) for Hyderabad.

The Velocity Junior College management did not respond to multiple requests for comment. #KhabarLive