x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 September 2017

School apologises after asking parents of student who took his own life to pay fees

The National reported on Sunday that Abhimanyu Sadasivan, 16, who attended the Indian High School (IHS), took his life on March 2, five days after writing a suicide note on an exam paper.

DUBAI // The parents of a pupil who hanged himself two months ago have received an apology from his school after they were repeatedly asked to pay outstanding fees.

Abhimanyu Sadasivan, 16, who attended the Indian High School, took his life on March 2, five days after writing a suicide note on an exam paper.

The school has so far not handed over a copy of the note.

“IHS would like to humbly apologise for the fee invoice email sent to you,” the school in Oud Metha wrote to his parents in an email on Monday.

“It was a mix-up from our end and we had no intentions to hurt your feelings at this stage of bereavement. It was due to a technical error that the email was generated and sent.”

Abhimanyu, a Grade 11 pupil, wrote his suicide note on a chemistry answer sheet on February 25

“This is not my chemistry paper but the last exam I am writing. I am so bored of my life,” his note read.

He had also written: “When I am dead, I do not want my body to be taken to India.”

Abhimanyu failed to appear for his maths test on March 2 and his parents were called to the school and shown the answer sheet, where he had also written about the pressures of the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education system.

They were told the headmaster was waiting for him to come to school so he could be asked about the note.

They immediately contacted Sharjah Police, who tracked Abhimanyu’s mobile phone and found his body at their home.

His mother, Ambika Sadasivan, said the school had since called her home asking for payment of the outstanding Dh3,395 fees for March and last month.

Mrs Sadasivan, who has another son studying in Grade 9 at the school, said: “Whether they apologise or not, I want his chemistry paper back. He has written a farewell note to me, my husband and my son.

“They are saying it is policy to keep the answer sheet but this is not an answer sheet. It is a note to our family. We just want a copy so we can read what he has written to us.

“He was a lovely child. We want to know what went wrong and why he did this.”

The school said on Monday that it had taken steps to ensure the mistake would not recur.

“We have ensured that this error does not happen in the future and have removed your child’s name from the registrar’s fee software,” its message read.

“It was a technical mistake on our ICT department’s part that the fee invoice and the revised structure were mailed to you.

“The entire management of IHS is humbly apologising for this error as there were no dishonest intentions whatsoever.”

The school also tweeted its apology on via its Twitter page @IndianHigh_DXB

pkannan@thenational.ae