No question of reducing school fees this year, say private schools in Karnataka

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: RAVINDRAN R

Private school managements have ruled out any reduction in school fees for the 2021-22 academic year, but say they would accommodate payments in multiple instalments. At a press conference on Sunday, representatives of the Karnataka Private School Managements, Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff Coordination Committee (KPMTCC) defended the decision, citing a drop in enrolment and non-payment of fees from the previous academic year.

This comes amid a stand-off between school managements and parents, and Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar recently saying the situation was no different now when compared to last year when the government had fixed a 70% cap on school fees.

“Unaided private schools are already reeling under heavy losses. The 70% fee cap order by the State government was only for the last academic year and does not apply for this year,” said Shashi Kumar, convenor of KPMTCC. He added that they had also challenged the 70% cap order in court.

“There is a drop of about 20% in new admissions and over 40% of the students have fee dues from last year. Moreover, the State government has not cleared the RTE refund of about ₹700 crore in the State, adding to our woes. In this situation, there is no way we can reduce the school fee this academic year,” said Mr. Kumar.

Private school managements have recently come under severe criticism as some schools have been reportedly roping in moneylenders to coerce parents to take loans and pay the fees. This was condemned by Minister Suresh Kumar as well. In response, the KPMTCC said the Minister’s statement was “sweeping and generalised”. The government should take action against erring schools, but not tar them all with the same brush, it said.

KPMTCC members also voiced their concerns over pending fee dues from last year. “How do we give admissions to students who have not paid their fee for the last year? When pressed for the fee dues, many parents are seeking transfer certificates. Is it fair to leave the school after taking service for a year and not paying for it? There are many High Court orders that allow us to withhold the results of such students. The government should sort out this issue soon,” Mr. Kumar said.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 5:11:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-question-of-reducing-school-fees-this-year-say-private-schools-in-karnataka/article34806084.ece

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