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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Mumbai: Parents say schools charging for facilities not being provided

According to the parents, they would file separate petitions in the Bombay High Court against the respective schools for continuing to charge exorbitant fees despite remote learning being in progress and the impact of the pandemic on the household finances.

Written by Abha Goradia | Mumbai | Updated: September 1, 2020 1:43:16 pm
Human Rights students, online classes, Panchkula news, Haryana news, Indian express newsThe university is charging Rs 8,500 additionally over the tuition fee. (Representational)

The parents of at least 25 schools in Mumbai alleged on Monday that schools are continuing to charge fees for facilities they are not providing at the moment — such as fees for transport, laboratory, library as well as for sports day and annual day among others.

According to the parents, they would file separate petitions in the Bombay High Court against the respective schools for continuing to charge exorbitant fees despite remote learning being in progress and the impact of the pandemic on the household finances. They also alleged that many schools have removed students from online teaching groups and barred them from appearing for exams until fees are paid in full.

“The written exam for my child begins from September 7. Our login ID for the exam portal has been blocked,” said the parent of a student studying at a Mira Road-based school.

Trisha Kumavat, the parent of a student studying at a school in Bhayander, added: “We are being charged the entire annual fee under the head of tuition fee… we are not being provided any bifurcation of the fees charged.”

Mehul Doshi, whose child studies at an ICSE school in Ghatkopar East, said: “Our Parents Teachers Association has written to the school several times but we have not received any revert. When some parents went to the school to express their inability to pay the fees, they were asked to submit bank statements and letters citing salary cuts from their employers. The school is not ready to waive any fee.”

Parents have also alleged that schools are charging anywhere between Rs 50 to Rs100 per day as fine for delay in paying fees.

Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education, said, “The schools cannot deprive students from education under the Right To Education Act. The issue of payment of fees is between the parents and the school management. Moreover, most schools clubbing different heads under ‘miscellaneous fees’ and refraining from providing a bifurcation, amounts to capitation of fees, which is an offence. We are urging parents to get FIRs filed against the schools.”

On Monday, the Delhi HC stated that annual and development fees cannot be charged “during the pendency of the present lockdown” when schools across the country are yet to open. In June, the Bombay High Court had stayed a May 8 Maharashtra government resolution that barred schools from increasing fees for the academic year 2020-21.

Campaign to thank teachers launched

Mumbai: In an effort to help students appreciate efforts made by teachers in reaching out to them amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the state school education department on Monday announced a ‘Thank a teacher’ campaign through a government resolution (GR).

The campaign will be run on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “Teachers have displayed willingness to develop new abilities, adapt to new modes of teaching using technology due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Some teachers have taken the initiative of going to children’s homes to teach. To express gratitude for their contribution, the campaign is being run,” said the GR.

For Teachers’ Day celebration, the department has suggested organising webinars with teachers at school, taluka or district level, apart from competitions such as elocution, poster making, essay, play and poetry among others. ENS

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