The director of Calcutta International School (CIS) has been asked to step down by the school's governing board, comprising parents of students, citing "incompetence and low managerial skills".
The decision, taken after five hours of deliberation on Monday, was ratified by the teachers on Tuesday, ending Anuradha Das's 27-year-long association with the 60-year-old school.
"After so many years, I have nothing to prove to anybody about my leadership, capability and contribution to education. It is for the parents to decide what kind of a school they want," Das told Metro.
"I am concerned about the outgoing students. I am their guidance counsellor and help with their applications to universities abroad," said Das, who also taught math. She was appointed director in August 2009 after having been the principal for over six years.
Satyajit Banerjee, the school's IB (International Baccalaureate) coordinator, is now the acting director.
The CIS governing board comprises 11 parents elected by the CIS Society, which includes parents of all students. The board also had one nominated representative from the British Council ' till last month.
"The school was set up by the British Council (in 1953) to ensure good international education for children of expats. But lately CIS did not feature in our core area of work. So we have opted out," said Sujata Sen, the director of British Council-East.
While members of the board acknowledged Das as "a great teacher", most also accused her of "lack of control, internal audit trouble, violation of HR rules and non-maintenance of records".
"She is an excellent educator but does not have the vision of a director. Her administrative skills are not good enough to run the school," said a member of the board elected in September.
"Can this board evaluate my performance in just three months," Das asked Metro on Tuesday.
Das had received "negative feedback" thrice since October last year. The first unfavourable appraisal allegedly dates back even earlier, to 2009-2010. The 2010-12 board, too, had given Das three months to improve her "performance" as director, members of the present board claimed.
"Das had resigned last year following the ultimatum. But teachers threatened a strike and pressure from some parents and teachers led to her reinstatement. The board then resigned," said a board member. An interim board was in place for four months before the present board took over.
Somak Raychaudhury, the head of physics at Presidency University and father of a CIS student, said: "Members of the CIS Society wanted to see the minutes of the meeting, but there are no records since November."
Gautam Basu, a professor at Bose Institute, resigned from the board citing irregularities. "The board was flouting rules … not sharing information..."
Acting director Banerjee promised that administrative problems would not affect the school's performance. "We are all set to move on," he said. "The school introduced IB last year. The first batch has nine students."