Ritanjali Hastir/ Shimla
In-spite of Himachal cabinet decision dated back in the month of May clearly stating that private schools will charge only tuition fee from the students for the lock-down period, some schools are paying no attention to it and asking parents to deposit full fee without giving any head-wise breakup.
One of the Private Schools in the city has directed parents to deposited 2nd Installment (July-October) which is due against the fee of their wards and full Installment is being charged during the period of lock-down due to COVID 19 when school is still closed via SMS.
This is not for the first time that such issue came into light as few other reputed schools also followed the same line by considering themselves above the law and throwing away the caution to the wind. “Just like at higher education level we have Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission (HPPEIRC) for schools why the government cannot take the same measures and keep a leash on these maggots”, expressed one of the angry parents.
As per SOP’s/Directions/Guidelines of the Government of Himachal Pradesh and orders of the Director of Higher Education Himachal Pradesh, no fee was to be charged by any Private School during the period of lock-down due to COVID-19. Only tuition fee shall be charged from the parents which shall not be demanded and collected on a quarterly basis but collected only on a monthly basis, states the government order.
The government has also directed to adjust the already fee paid whether full or Installment shall be adjusted against tuition fee of next month. Annual Registration fee (Payable once every year) shall not be charged every year. It shall be charged only once at the time of new registration in the school.
Fee Book may be distributed to all the Students/Parents clearly mentioning the head of account i.e. Tuition Fee, Lab charges, Library charges, Building fund for the authenticity of the structure of school fees for the academic session and transparency of the school.
Himachal is one of the most literate states of India with a literacy rate of 83.78% as of 2011 and an abode some of the finest heritage educational institutes around the world. Under the circumstances, where commercialization of education is becoming a increasing trend saving its dignity through governmental interference is the need of the hour. “Simply saying private institutes do not listen to the government does not redeem the concerned bodies of their responsibility towards the children. Private schools too should be brought under the umbrella of Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission so that there is always a door to knock for parents when top officials turn deaf ear.