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Private schools disregard govt directive, tells parents to pay fees for next academic year

March 28, 2020

Although the department of public instruction has asked all schools suspend the admission process until further notice, a number of private schools in the city are allegedly pressuring parents to pay the tuition fees for the 2020-21 academic year. Ironically, some of these educational institutions are run by ministers and elected representatives as well.

The matter now has reached Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar after several parents complained to him. DH has seen copies of some of these complaints.

One of the complaints read, “Our child is studying in a school located in Banashankari and affiliated to the CBSE. While we have seen media reports that schools should not collect the fees for the 2020-21 academic year in the present circumstances,, we have been getting messages/e-mails from the school asking us to pay the fees before April 15. Kindly look into the issue.”

Earlier this month, the department has instructed all schools including those affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and state board to suspend the admission process for the next academic year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a parent, the current lockdown had hit his business hard and it would be difficult for him to pay the tuition fees by the given deadline. He said, “Despite requests, the school is sending us repeated messages. This is pure harassment.”

Block education officers (BEOs) have also received similar complaints from parents. A BEO from Bengaluru South said the issue was so serious that parents were calling on his mobile phone even though his office remained shut.

A senior official in the department suggested that schools appeared to be taking advantage of a loophole in the government directive. He further added that a separate circular would be issued to settle the matter.

Suresh Kumar, the minister, said that while the government had issued general instructions on suspending the admission process, the admission of students to higher classes should be viewed along similar lines. He said, “I will instruct the officials to look into the matter and ensure that no parent is harassed. Schools must act responsibly during this time of crisis. Hope they understand the government’s concerns.”

Source: Deccan Herald

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