In bid to provide relief to parents, states order private schools to not hike fees, ease up on collection during lockdown
With schools being shut due to the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, many states have asked private schools to not force parents to pay the fees
With schools being shut due to the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus , several states have asked private schools to not force parents to pay the fees. States such as Delhi and Assam have also directed private schools not to increase school fees in light of the economic hardships being faced by families.
Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday that the state government has directed all educational institutions not to increase fees during the coronavirus pandemic and to waive fifty percent fees for the month of April from pre-primary to Class 12, reported PTI.
Education Dept has directed all pvt schools to waive 50% of their one month school fees for April to give relief to parents. It is also directed that during pandemic there will be no increase in fee str and no curtailment of salary of teaching & non teaching staff of pvt schools pic.twitter.com/3AWDgyFyxW
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 22, 2020
There shall be also no increase in the school fees without the prior approval of the government during the pandemic, he said, adding that the salaries of teachers and non-teaching staff should also not be curtailed.
The educational institutions who have already collected the fees meant for the month of April will adjust the concession in the next month, the minister said at a press conference.
"The income of all citizens have been severely affected and this is a step to help people to tide over the crisis," PTI quoted Sarma as saying.
In a similar order, the Telangana government on Tuesday ordered private schools to not hike fee for the academic year 2020-21 and warned them of cancellation of their recognition and No Objection Certificate for affiliation, apart from legal action, in case of non-compliance, reported PTI.
According to the orders issued by Telangana Special Chief Secretary Chitra Ramachandran, all private unaided recognised schools in the state, which are affiliated to State Board, CBSE, ICSE, and other international boards have been asked to charge only the monthly tuition fees until further orders.
Delhi too had previously announced similar measures. Last week, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia , citing orders issued by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, had directed private schools not to increase school fees without approval of the government or demand fees for more than a month at a time.
मुख्यमंत्री @ArvindKejriwal ने आदेश दिए हैं कि दिल्ली के प्राइवेट स्कूल-
-बिना सरकार से पूछे फ़ीस नहीं बढ़ाएँगे,
-एक साथ तीन महीने की फ़ीस नहीं लेंगे, केवल एक महीने की tution फ़ीस के अलावा कोई अन्य फ़ीस नहीं लेंगे.
-फ़ीस न देने पर किसी बच्चे को ऑनलाइन क्लास से नहीं हटाएँगे.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) April 17, 2020
In case a student fails to pay fees on time, he or she cannot be barred from taking online classes, he had said. The Delhi government also told private schools to pay salaries of teaching, non-teaching, contract and outsourced staff on time.
The Punjab government had on 8 April issued show cause notices to 23 schools in the state for demanding fees during the lockdown period. State education minister Vijay Inder Singla urged schools to not send any message to students regarding the deposition of fee during the lockdown. He asked students and their guardians to reach out to him directly on his email to submit complaints against schools which are demanding fees.
According to news agency PTI, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had also directed schools not to force parents to deposit school fees during the lockdown while the Odisha governemnt asked schools to be sympathetic and consider reducing or deferring the payment of school fees in order to provide some parents whose incomes might have been affected, reported ANI.
The Maharashtra government had also directed schools to be lenient with regards to fee collection, said a NDTV report. State education minister Varsha Gaikwad said that the government had issued an order on 30 March that schools and other educational institutions should not demand fees during lockdown. The directive said that they can start fee collection only after the lockdown is lifted. The minister added that in case of any complaints, parents can reach out to their District Education Officer (Primary/Secondary).
The nationwide lockdown has been extended till 3 May to combat the spread of COVID-19 which has claimed 652 lives so far and infected over 20,000 in the country.
With inputs from agencies
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