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PCMC chief says cut fees by 15%, schools likely to do it for poor families and those hit by pandemic

Jyotsna Shinde, PCMC administrative officer (education), said, "After the commissioner's appeal, many schools have said they will reduce their fee by 15 per cent. It is also true that schools said they will give fee cut to poor children."

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: July 5, 2021 7:49:22 am
Pune, school feeOfficials met principals and representatives of 65 schools from Pimpri-Chinchwad on Saturday to discuss the issue of reduction of school fees (Express photo)

Following an appeal by Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner Rajesh Patil to reduce school fee in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to job losses and financial constraints, the Independent English Schools Association said it will consider reducing fee for families whose financial condition was poor.

At a meeting with principals and representatives of 65 schools from Pimpri-Chinchwad on Saturday, the PCMC urged schools to reduce fee by 15 per cent. “We have received complaints from people about schools demanding fees from children or not allowing them to sit for online classes. Besides, schools are also rejecting admissions to poor students under the RTE (Right To Education) Act. Every day, we get 10 to 15 complaints. Despite issuing notices, schools are not responding,” he said.

Patil said, “Under the RTE Act too, schools will get reimbursement from the government. But because there is a delay, it doesn’t mean children should be denied admission.”

Jagruti Dharmadhikari, representative of Independent English Schools Association present at the meeting, said, “The municipal commissioner has sought 15 per cent fee cut for all admissions. However, we are ready to give more than 15 per cent cut to students who are from poor families or whose families have been adversely hit by the pandemic and lockdown. But we cannot give 15 per cent cut to all students.”

Jyotsna Shinde, PCMC administrative officer (education), said, “After the commissioner’s appeal, many schools have said they will reduce their fee by 15 per cent. It is also true that schools said they will give fee cut to poor children.”

Dominic Lobo, who closed his school in Sangvi a couple of years ago, said, “Several schools are facing issues in running schools as the state government has failed to reimburse them under the RTE Act.”

He said schools had to pay salaries, which they could not as the government was refusing to pay pending dues. “Don’t blame all the schools, catch the wrong ones and seal them,” he added.

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Lobo said education was the primary responsibility of a local body like the PCMC. “Hence, the commissioner should use emergency powers and issue cheques to all schools towards RTE dues. Schools can pay the PCMC back, as and when the state pays them.”

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