Even as all educational institutions continue to remain shut owing to the 118-day long ongoing unrest in the Valley, the private school authorities are flashing messages to parents asking them to deposit the fees of their wards of the closed period. Most of the schools are charging full tuition fee from the students for the unrest period, besides 50 per cent bus fee charges for each month and are asking parents to deposit the school fees of their wards before the end of this month, which marks the culmination of the academic year in the Valley.
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The attempt has drawn criticism from the parents who demand waiver of the fee since their wards could not attend the schools for about past four months. Noisy scenes were witnessed at the premises of DPS Budgam, a leading school in private sector, in central Kashmir on Thursday after a large number of parents objected to the directive of the school authorities.
“It is unethical and immoral. There is no logic in seeking the fee for the closed period at a time when the life has paralysed in the Valley,” an agitated parent said. Sensing trouble, the school authorities closed the fee counters and decided to hold a parent-management meet on Monday to sort out the issue.
The academic year ends in November in Kashmir and the school authorities used to clear the accounts before the start of the next session which is followed by three-month long winter vacation staring next month. Most of the schools used to charge the tuition fee for the winter months but wave off the bus fee.
“We never sought waiver of the tuition fee for the winter months since we know the school management has to pay the staff. But this time around, every sphere of life has been affected due to the prevailing situation and it is not possible for an ordinary person to deposit the fee,” another parent said.
Earlier, chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani had appealed to the management of all private schools to allow 50 per cent fee concession to the students in view of the prevailing situation.
“Under the prevailing situation, it is the duty of the people to help and provide comfort and concession to one another,” Geelani had said in a statement last month.