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Unable to pay fees, parents consider moving kids out of private schools

August 1, 2020

Due to shrink in incomes and job loss, parents of students studying in private schools are unable to pay school fees, which has led them to considering moving their kids out of the schools. Delhi-based Kashmira, whose daughter Rukhsana studied in an English-medium private school is now looking to switch to a government school due to financial crisis.

Before the lockdown, Kashmira’s husband used to earn Rs 7,000-8,000 a month by collecting and selling scrap, from which, they would set aside Rs 2,135 per month to educate their 10-year-old daughter in an English-medium private school near their home in Seemapuri. But ever since the lockdown began, he has not been able to earn more than Rs 2,000 a month, which is even lesser than the school fee. Kashmira has visited the government school near her home to enquire about admissions but was told there are no seats available in the English-medium section in class V.

Kashmira told The Indian Express, “We really can’t do anything right now. The school has been asking us about fees but we are barely being able to put together meals for the family. I don’t think I have an option other than enrolling my daughter for a Hindi-medium seat, even though she has studied in English medium since nursery. We ourselves never studied and want her to study well and get a good job. Once she’s enrolled, at least I’ll have the comfort of knowing that she can continue studying.”

Sumeet Uppal, a single mother supports her daughter’s education by taking tuition classes. But her daughter has not been part of any school since March. She says, “My daughter studied in a private school in Punjabi Bagh till class VIII. I had already planned to shift her to a government school in class IX because it was expensive for me, but the lockdown started in March and the transfer couldn’t be done. When the school began online classes, they asked for fees. I said I can’t pay because none of my tuition classes are happening anymore, and asked for a transfer certificate. Since then, there has been no update about admissions opening in government schools. I went to the nearby one at the beginning of July to enquire, but the head of the school said they haven’t received any directions. So I’ve been teaching her at home.”

Sunil Shastri, who taught Sanskrit in a government school in Shastri Nagar, has been unemployed for three months now. He is now trying to move his daughter from a private school in Shastri Nagar to a government school in his village in Rajasthan’s Jaipur district, where he has returned for the time being.

Shastri, who is also a single parent says, “I haven’t been able to pay the fee of Rs 1,950 for months now. It’s even difficult for me to get a school leaving certificate as they’re asking me to clear two months fees before that. I don’t want a year of her education to be ruined because of my employment uncertainty.”

Source: The Indian Express

Read: Supreme Court refuses to hear parents’ plea for school fees waiver

Also read: School fees & online classes confusion: National round-up

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