A final decision on whether private schools can charge fees for the lockdown period will be taken in the coming week. A meeting between the Education Department, All School Parents Association and school authorities is scheduled to take place next week. The meeting will be chaired by Education Minister Jagarnath Mahto.
While schools claim to charge bus fees for 11 months, authorities also say that charging tuition fees for the lockdown period is necessary as they too have to pay full salaries to the teaching and non teaching staff members.
“Schools have not yet been informed about any such meeting with the Education Minister but if it takes place, we will certainly be a part of it. For the entire lockdown period, teachers have been taking online classes.
These sessions require more work on their part as compared to taking classes in school as after the session is over, they still have to be available to solve any doubts. Salaries of teaching and non teaching staff needs to be paid along with all the other expenses including maintenance which the school needs to bear on a daily basis,” said Secretary Sahodaya and Guru Nanak School Principal Dr Manohar Lal.
Lal further stated that the schools will not put any pressure on the parents to pay the fees. “The schools will request that the tuition fee is not waived off. However, the last date to pay the fee will be extended and parents will also not be charged with any late fine. We will also suggest that the transportation fees be waived off for this period.”
In the meeting representatives of the All School Parents Association will state that tuition and bus fees for the months of April and May should not be charged as schools were closed during this time.
“The schools should not charge any bus or tuition fees for the months of April and May. As for the claims made by the schools that tuition fees is required to pay the salaries, balance sheets for the last five years should be checked by CAG. This will give everyone a fair idea about their income and expenses. Following Delhi Government annual fees, bus fees and fees for extracurricular activities should not be charged this year. There should also not be any hike in the fees for this session,” said All School Parents Association, Jharkhand President Ajay Rai.