Shimla, Nov 11
Chhatar Abhibhavak Manch(CAM) today blamed the Jai Ram Government for allegedly standing beside 3000 private educational institutions in the state who are adamant to charge hefty fees during Covid pandemic period from parents of the students.
The convenor of CAM, Vajinder Mehra and Co-convenor Bindu Joshi alleged that the department of education issued a notification on Tuesday which lifts the lockdown restriction of charging of school fees from the institions.
”It is unfortunate that Jai Ram Government today is standing with three thousands private schools who are adamant for claiming outstanding fees during lockdown or pandemic period in addition to Tuition free.
A notification issued by the Director higher education on Nov 10 mentioned that competent authority(council of
minister ) have taken this decision on Oct 30 deciding to lift the restriction imposed on them vide another notification issued on May 27 this year. Mehra said that nowhere in the new notification it has specified that school would charge outstanding fee from the students over and above tuition fee of lock down period.
” It is pathetic that the State Government is standing with the 3000 private school managements vis-a vis 6 lakh students and their parents. He said that there are only 3000 private schools in state whereas around six lakh students or children of ten lakh parents are getting enrolled.
In the notification issued by the Director Higher education of state added that in view of Oct 30 decision of Government they are withdrawing the earlier notification regarding school fee being implemented from Jun 27 2020 onward with immediate effect.
On Jun 27 the state Government had issued notification in which it had allowed private schools management to only charge Tuition fee from the students provided they were conducting online classes or regular classes.
Schools are being directed to not increase the tuition fee or not collect any additional hidden charges in the name of tuition fee.
The old notification which is not applicable now also had barred schools to collect building, maintenance, sports funds, computer and extra co-curricular fee etc . The notification also mentioned that they may defer such funds during the period of the lock down.
Government made it mandatory that no students be deprived off online classes or reading material in case of inability to pay the fee . The schools were being directed to not collect the tuition fee from the students
in bulk or on a quarterly basis but on a monthly basis. If any parents could not submit their ward fee their name should not be struck off from the
school during the lockdown, had stated the earlier notification.
The private school managements had also been directed to not stop payment of monthly salary nor reduce the existing total emoluments
being paid to teaching and not teaching staff of the schools in the name of non availability of funds and arrange the funds in case of shortfall from the society or trust running the school.
The CAM have been staging protests outside the directorate of education for burdening the parents after lifting the lockdown restriction
of not charging the school fees. Mehra said that now school managements are asking the parents to deposit the pending fee however the order passed on Nov 10 did not specify clearly if private schools could charge the outstanding fees in addition to the tuition fee or not.
Pulled towards english medium education for children the people of state generally prefer schooling in private run schools however they have been burdened to pay hefty fees. The quality of education in most of private schools are utterly poor, yet parents are being allured by the tabo of modern education.
Also despite having good teaching experience and high qualification, teaching staff in the private run schools are under paid or under employed due to lack of regulatory body for such institutions which are mushrooming up in the state in every nook and corner.
Generally teachers associated with these institutions and parents enrolling their wards are not able to raise
voice against the monopoly of such school managements owing to job security and the risk of losing academic future of their children.
Commercialisation of such learning institution are the new norms as irrespective of party line every state government always takes the position favourable to school managements , Mehra alleged.