Private schools in doldrums, want fee issue to be resolved

For want of govt. notification, parents reluctant to pay arrears, says association

The managements of private schools have sought a notification from the authorities authorising them to collect the fee stipulated by the government, from the parents of students.

The private school managements represented by the past chairman of FKCCI, Sudhakar Shetty, said that the private educational institutions, mainly schools at the taluk and district levels, are in dire straits following the outbreak of the pandemic.

Mr. Shetty, who is also the president of CBSE, ICSE & State Board Private School Managements Association of Mysuru and surrounding districts, said it was customary for the schools to collect the fee due for the academic year during the months of January through March. But consequent to the outbreak of the pandemic in March, the State government issued a directive to the management not to collect any fee from the parents for the new academic year (2020-21). As a result of the freeze even the fee payable for the previous academic year has not yet been paid and this has put the private schools financial distress, said Mr. Shetty.

He said the fee outstanding was to the extent of 35 per cent and this has a bearing on the financial viability of the schools. But as no new notification has been issued by the government the parents are reluctant to pay the remaining amount.

The private schools also bear the financial burden of students admitted under RTE (25 per cent of the seats) besides implementing various government policies pertaining to admission. But with the freeze on fee collection, the private schools are in dire straits and hence the government should intervene, said Mr. Shetty

A memorandum was submitted to the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Suresh Kumar to draw his attention to the issue and resolve the matter. The representatives of various schools also pointed out court orders in other States which have authorised fee collection ranging from 75 per cent to 80 per cent.

Mr. Shetty said the pandemic has created an extraordinary situation wherein schools are forced to open studios for conducting online classes all of which costs money. Besides, they were paying 50 per cent of the salary to their teachers which was rendering the private institutions financially unviable. Hence the Minister was urged to fix the fee that could be collected by private institutions and resolve the issue.

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