Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi has instructed private schools not to pressurise parents for depositing school three months’ fees at a time in the wake of coronavirus lockdown.
As per the order issued on Friday evening, private schools cannot force the parents to deposit fee for more than a month during lockdown. If one expresses his inability to deposit one-month fee, schools must not burden them nor can they cancel admission of his ward.
“Schools may request parents to deposit one-month tuition fee. They can make some arrangement for collecting other charges later in instalments. Besides, parents should not be forced to come to school for buying uniform and books. However, the schools can provide home delivery of study materials to the students. The administration will help to provide vehicle pass for this purpose,” the DM said in his order.
The order has brought major relief to the parents who were harried by lockdown. Many parents said that lockdown crippled all business and trade activities and thereby hit their sources of income very hard.
Devendra Sharma, whose daughter studies in class 9, said that depositing one-month tuition fee is not troublesome for many but the school has asked to pay hefty amount including development charge, miscellaneous fees and three-month tuition fee. Sharma, a small business man, said, “My current financial position is not good as business has suffered huge loss in the past one month. I hope the school will cooperate with parents after the government’s order.”
Pankaj Singh, father of two, said, “I have received reminder from school twice for depositing fees. In April, school charges hefty fees in name of development or other activities. The relaxation will be a major relief for me. Let’s see whether private schools abide by the administration’ order or not.”
On the other hand, schools have different arguments regarding fees collection on time.
Principal of a private school, who wished not to be identified, said, “The operational cost of the school is met through school fee. Even when school is closed, the teachers are engaged with preparing online study material and record lecture. The management has to pay its teaching and non-teaching staffs. It would be difficult to manage if we get very low fee collection.”