Private school managements asked to revise fee structure

With private school managements struggling to collect fees and parents unable to pay up due to salary cuts and job loss, the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) has asked managements to revise the fee structure and reduce the amount to be paid for the 2020-2021 academic year.

In an advisory issued on Tuesday, KAMS asked its member schools to ensure that they reduce the fees in the range of 20% to 25% if the amount exceeds ₹25,000 a year. They urged schools to do this in the “best interest of students continued learning and support parents during COVID-19 circumstances”. Around 4,000 schools that follow the State syllabus are affiliated to the association.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the association, said they had advised schools to take this course of action as a majority of parents had not yet paid fees but were availing online classes. “We have tried to understand the plight of the parents during the pandemic as many of them may have lost jobs or taken salary cuts. We have advised school managements not to ask parents to pay the full amount in one instalment,” he said.

The association said that if the fees of the school management is less than ₹25,000, then the special development fees and term fees can be relaxed. Besides this, fees for extracurricular activities and sports can be waived, while a minimum charge can be taken for computer usage, transportation, and other maintenance charges.

Many school managements in October had offered discounts as high as 50% as they wanted parents to pay the fees due to drop in admissions. During this period, enrolment in government schools had risen as parents were pulling children out of private schools.

A member of a school management said that despite reducing fees by as much as 60%, more than half were yet to pay. “During the pandemic, parents want to admit their children in schools that are economical. If we don’t reduce fees, they will admit their children in other schools.”

However, many parents who have already paid the fees, are wondering if they will get a refund. Mohan S., whose children study in classes six and 10, said: “I borrowed from my relatives and paid in full in October. Will I get a refund if the school offers a discount?” he sought to know.

Parents protest again

Parents of yet another school in Bengaluru staged a protest on Tuesday demanding that their children be allowed to attend online classes. Many private schools have barred students from logging into classes until they pay their fees. The parents allegedly pointed out that the school management was harassing them for not paying fees. Following this, the jurisdictional Block Education Officer visited the school in Laggere and tried to engage in a dialogue with the parents and the school management. The school management was unavailable for response.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 1:20:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/private-school-managements-asked-to-revise-fee-structure/article33505084.ece

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