Students of Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, whose parents have not paid fees since the nationwide lockdown was imposed, have found themselves without access to online classes. Last week, the education department had sent a strongly worded order to all private schools re-emphasising its April 18 directive that “heads of schools shall, in no case, deny ID and password for getting online access of educational facilities/classes/material, etc to those students/parents who are unable to pay the school fee due to financial crisis arising out of closure of business activities in the ongoing lockdown condition”.
Last week, the department had ordered that the April order continue to be complied with “in its totality”.
A parent of two children, both in primary classes, said the children were removed from the Microsoft Teams group for online classes on Monday night. “We have been very hard hit with medical bills through the entire lockdown period. My husband has a seasonal business and income has dried up. In February, he had a paralytic stroke. My children’s class teachers have called me several times. Yesterday, I received calls from both class teachers telling me that both children are being struck off online classes. We have also been removed from class WhatsApp groups,” she said.
Another affected parent said parents of over 10 students on a parents’ social media group have raised the same complaint. “We are planning to go to the school on Wednesday to raise the issue,” the parent said.
Another complaint parents raised is that the school demanded fees under heads such as maintenance, PTA fund, development fund and operational fund. Last week, the directorate had ordered against this and said private schools may only charge tuition fees. Parents who were charged Rs 9,600 up to July said they had to pay Rs 15,209 in August.
While a senior member of the school administration said they did not wish to comment on collection of charges other than tuition fees, the official said, “The action has been taken in the case of selected students whose parents have not paid a single penny in the last few months. They need to pay tuition fees at least or there will be too much arrears. They have been asked repeatedly to pay the fees.”
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