With several schools allegedly not complying with the order issued by the State government regarding fees for this academic year, parents are seeking the intervention of officials of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). However, officials are unable to respond to them as the district-level committees to resolve disputes pertaining to fees have still not been formed.
According to the order issued by the government, for the 2020-21 academic year, schools managements can charge only 70% of the tuition fees that they charged in 2019-20. The order states that no other fees can be charged owing to the financial distress faced by parents during the pandemic. If parents have already paid more than 70% of the tuition fees, schools have been directed to either refund it or adjust it with the fees for the next academic year. Although it has been five days since the order was issued, the department is yet to set up the district-level committees.
A parent whose child studies in a city-based CBSE-affiliated school, said, “The school managements call us every day and are forcing us to pay the full tuition fees and are not willing to comply with the government order. The government should have taken this decision in June before schools began.” He added that there was a need for the DPI to immediately form the committees.
A Block Education Officer in Bengaluru said several parents had complained to him that schools were charging the full fee structure and violating norms. “School managements are reportedly telling parents that they have no clarity on the order. We are telling schools that the order is clear and that they can charge only 70% of the fees. But we are waiting for the district-level committees to be formed so that we can direct parents to lodge complaints with the committee,” he said.
Parents allege that school managements have removed the fee structure from their websites following this order. Some others complain that schools are making “arbitrary” decisions and offering to waive off the third term fees and asking parents to pay all other fees.