Some parents also taking advantage of situation besides some schools, opine locals
Amid the differences between private schools and parents of students regarding submission of school fee during the lockdown, locals of Dehradun opine that some schools and parents are trying to take advantage of the current crisis. The private schools were recently given permission by the State Government to collect fee from financially sound parents who can afford to pay the school fees. Those who cannot pay the fee during the lockdown can pay their dues later, as per the government orders. The lockdown has put pressure on parents who are facing financial challenges and also the schools who are completely dependent on the monthly fees to operate their school and pay staff salaries. Several groups, organisations and parents have requested the government to waive off the three months school fee. The chairperson of State Commission of Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) also suggested that school should provide fee relaxation during such crisis. While some of the schools have waived off three months fees, some of them are still asking parents to submit it or at least state when they can deposit the fee. “I understand that these are difficult times but every school actually cannot afford to waive off three months fees. I teach in a private school and I will probably not receive my salary next month if the parents of the students do not deposit the fees. We are teaching students from our home during the lockdown which is way more difficult than teaching physically. I think we deserve our salaries,” said a local teacher Priyanka Sharma. Some people are claiming that even those who are financially well off do not want to submit the school fees in the hope that the Uttarakhand Government will also provide relaxation to the parents as in some other states.
Mathematics teacher Dheeraj Santosh said, “I know some parents who are doing quite well financially and still want the school to waive off the fees of their children. Our school has requested those parents who are government servants because their salaries are not being hindered during the lockdown but even they are not ready to pay in the hope that the government will soon issue an order stating schools to waive off the fee. Schools compelling parents to submit the fees are not right but some parents are also taking advantage of the situation.”
However, some parents said that they understand school administration needs funds to run the school but those schools which are run by charitable trust should at least give some exemption in the fee because most of these schools are quite rich and capable of coping with some financial restraints. Recently, the Dehradun district magistrate said that parents can complaint to the district control room number 0135-2726066 about schools pressurising them to pay fees but according to the sources, only about half a dozen complaints have been received in control room till now which were sent to the education department.
Friday, 01 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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