Coronavirus lockdown: Education activists demand change in school fees

ST Staff
Wednesday, 29 April 2020

"After the lockdown, the schools should only take tuition fees for the lockdown months. The transportation fees should not be charged from parents as the children did not travel to schools." - Mukund Kirdat. 

Pune: Education activists and organisations have asked private schools to charge only monthly tuition fees from the parents for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown and not the transportation charges. They have also asked the government to direct the private schools to pay the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff.

The State government has already asked the schools not to pressurise the parents to pay fees during the lockdown. The State Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, on Friday, had also said that the parents could complain to the Education Officer in case the schools tried to force them to pay the fees.

Education activist and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Mukund Kirdat said that after the lockdown, the schools should only take tuition fees for the lockdown months.

"The transportation fees should not be charged from parents as the children did not travel to schools. Also, considering the economic crisis that many parents could be facing, the schools should take only monthly and not quarterly fees," Kirdat added.

He also emphasised that the schools must pay the teaching and non-teaching staff their salaries for the lockdown months.

"Whether contract-based, salaried or outsourced, the government must see to it that all the staff should be paid their remuneration on time. If any school is found to be violating it, then the government must take action against them," Kirdat added.

After the Delhi government announced that the private schools must take the responsibility of paying their staff, parent activist Prasad Tulaskar also tweeted to the Maharashtra Government to take similar measures, and make sure that the schools pay their employees.

In a letter to fellow parent activists, Milind Gangurde of Parents of Private Schools of Maharashtra (POPSOM) also asked the State Government to look into the issue of fee regulation, as the parents would find it more challenging to pay exorbitant fees in the post-lockdown world.

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