COVID-19 Lockdown: Confusion over school fee payment? Here’s what parents should know about announcements on fee relaxation
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, various state governments have announced that no school will pressurize parents to pay the school fee.
However, confusion has been aroused among parents whether they have to pay the fee or not or schools have waived or moratorium the fee. Amid this chaos, parents should be aware of the right announcement what the government announced.
Amid COVID-19 outbreak, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh governments have announced that schools should not pressurize parents to pay the school fee during the lockdown. Due to this parents have not got confused about whether they will have to fee right now or they will have to be paid later.
According to various school authorities who are receiving queries from parents claimed that some parents have assumed that they are not supposed to pay the fee for the period and also thought the fee has been waived.
A resident from Gurugram told PTI, “There is no clarity. Schools are still charging miscellaneous fees like meal charges and transport charges. Nobody knows what has been waived and what is still there. When we reach out to schools they say its only a relaxation in the time and not the amount.”
“If the fees are anyway supposed to be paid then I would rather accommodate it in my budget now rather than facing a burden later. With the announcement, it looked like a relief but I don’t know if it actually is. Having clear instructions would have been helpful,” another guardian from Noida said.
Here’s what school authorities said:
According to a representative of a leading private school in Gurugram said that parents were confused about the announcement and are calling them about why the fee statements have been generated when there is a government order.
“We explain to each of the parents that the fees have not been waived and only the deadlines have been relaxed. The teachers are working full time, regular classes are happening online, the staff needs to be paid salaries too,” she said.
Another school spokesperson in Gurugram said, “We are not forcing the parents to pay right away, the deadlines have been extended already and a genuine case can be evaluated accordingly even later but we are advising parents that whoever can pay right now should pay.”
The spokesperson also added that the fees cannot be waived off as online classes are going on and they will suppose to pay the salary to the teachers who are running classes.
However, the school authorities don’t want to reveal their identity.
Earlier on Thursday, Punjab government directed the school to release the full salary of staff members and not to force parents for books, uniforms, transportation fees and also clarified that no school can demand a fee from parents on the pretext of online teaching classes during the lockdown.
Also, Noida District Magistrate Suhas LY issued an order to all schools in the district that no educational institution in the district can compel parents to pay school fees during the lockdown period. He also ordered that students should not be bereaved from online classes during the period.
On the other hand, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said last week in online interaction with parents, “We have been getting messages from parents that fee during the lockdown should be waived but schools say that how will they give salaries, which is also a genuine concern. The government has actively worked for parents as far as the matters about fees are concerned but right now it is a tricky situation. If anybody has concrete suggestions about a balanced way out of the situation, we request to share it with us.”
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, schools and colleges likely to remain close till May 15. In the wake of the rise in a number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, the government is planning to extend the lockdown across the country. As per the latest reports, PM Modi will address the nation on April 14.