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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Schools seek proof of financial hardship from parents for waiving late fee penalty, giving fee concessions

The move from the private schools has come in view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court's decision in favour of Punjab's private schools Monday, allowing them to collect annual as well as admission fee.

Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula | Published: July 2, 2020 11:59:36 am
Schools seek proof of financial hardship from parents for waiving late fee penalty, giving fee concessions The move from the private schools has come in view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision in favour of Punjab’s private schools Monday, allowing them to collect annual as well as admission fee. (Representational)

Panchkula’s private schools are messaging parents, threatening to strike off their ward’s name from the school for non-payment of dues and also demanding that a parent, if facing financial hardship, must produce a ‘genuine proof’ of the same. One such message circulated by a private school Tuesday, has even termed the parents- unable to pay the dues- ‘selfish’.

The move from the private schools has come in view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision in favour of Punjab’s private schools Monday, allowing them to collect annual as well as admission fee.

An order issued by the Haryana government in the past week, which gave private schools permission to oust students due to non-payment of fees, has been another premise for the messages being sent by private schools.

One such message received by the parents whose child is a student of a private school in Sector 7, addressed by the school’s director, has left the parents feeling insulted, insinuating that the parents are making a conscious decision to not pay the fee- to reduce their ‘house budget’.

The message read, “Dear parents, many parents just out of selfish motives are asking for concessions even though they can afford to pay. Of course they have to think seriously as to how they can reduce the budget of the house. But school wishes to accommodate the genuine ones by 1) accepting the fee a little late without the addition of a late fee and 2) with a genuine concession to those who provide genuine proof.”

The same school had circulated another such message past week, “The name of your ward will be struck off if the fee is not paid. So you are again requested to clear off your dues… to avoid any inconvenience.”

The messages have left parents, especially those facing financial hardships, vexed. “The lockdown has left me penniless. I have six grandchildren enrolled in this school. My three sons and I own a business at Bapu Dham colony which has remained shut as it is a containment zone. We still fear going there. We have not earned anything in the past few months while the expenditure has been the same. These messages have created so much pressure on us and now they insult us, alleging that we do not want to pay the fees,” said a man, who wanted to remain anonymous.

He added, “The government should intervene. High court was our last hope, but following its judgement in Punjab’s private schools cases, we do not think we will get any help from anywhere. The parents are on their own.”

While parents struggle to keep their wards enrolled in private schools, the schools have been incessantly sending messages to parents, demanding fee payments. Meanwhile, the schools have time and again stated that non-payment of fees is causing issues with the payment of their employees’ salaries.

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