Online classes: Plaints pour in against school managements

A file photo of a student attending an online class.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Like the previous academic year, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) has been flooded with complaints from parents about school managements blocking online classes of those who have not paid fees for the current year.

The commission received complaints against 20 managements over the past two weeks. One of the parents said: “The school management has said that we should pay one quarter of the fees at the beginning of the academic year, and only then our child will be allowed to attend online classes. We want schools to allow us to pay monthly fees as our income has reduced during the second lockdown.”

Fr. Antony Sebastian, chairperson of the commission, said they had directed officials of the Department of Public Instruction to attend to all the cases and submit a report to the commission. “After the intervention of the commission, department officials held talks with the managements and assured us that schools have agreed to unblock online classes,” he said.

The Karnataka State Legal Services Authority too received request from a parentseeking legal aid.

However, D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said it was difficult for schools to sustain online classes if parents do not pay fees. “We will tell parents that if they need to pay a minimum amount of fees if they want to continue classes in our schools. If parents are unable to pay, we will direct them to the nearest government school,” he said. He also added that the KSCPCR should also understand the teachers' and school managements perspective.

The Department of Public Instruction has not announced any decision pertaining to the school fees that needs to be paid this academic year. For the 2020-2021, they had stated that the schools need to pay 70% percent of the tuition tution fees of the 2019-2020 academic year. They department had stated that no other fees can be charged under other subheads.V. Anbukumar, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said as the case pertaining to fees was in court, they were waiting for its orders. “We have proposed that a retired High Court judge could head a committee and recommend how we could charge fees this year,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 7:40:52 PM |

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