Schools, parents in dispute over fee structure


Parents say they are struggling to pay because they faced financial crisis in wave two

School principals and parents are involved in a dispute over the fee structure for the 2021-2022 school year. While principals charge higher fees compared to those collected the year the pandemic hit, parents say they are struggling to pay because they have had to deal with salary cuts or financial losses during the second wave of COVID-19.

Sumana S., mother of a ninth grade student who studies at a CBSE-affiliated school, said she did not pay full fees for the previous school year. “Although our daughter was promoted to the next grade, she didn’t get her grades and report card,” she said.

Another parent, Harish K., whose sons study at a school in northern Bengaluru, said he did not want to pay the fees this school year until the High Court issues an order on the fee structure . “We paid the full fees for the last academic year and were told we would get a 30% refund on the tuition, but management refused to reimburse. So we will only pay once the problem is solved.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associate Directorates of Primary and Secondary Schools, said they have asked schools to collect the fees charged during the period 2019-2020. “We’ve told schools not to charge full IT fees, extracurricular fees, and fees under different captions that students may not use. But schools will have to collect some of these fees because many of them will have to clear loans and incur other expenses, ”he said.

During the 2020-2021 school year, the state government issued an order stating that schools can charge 70% of the tuition billed for the school year preceding the COVID-19 outbreak. They had stated that no other charges can be billed under any other subheading.

Antony Sebastian, chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, said he had received several complaints about schools charging higher fees than was stipulated by the government last year.

Mansoor Ali Khan, a board member of the DPS Group of Schools, said the case was pending. “We are billing the fees that we billed for the 2019-2020 academic year. Many parents still have not paid the fees and we will wait for the court order on this, ”he said. He said, however, that they had decided to remove the fees for the current school year also for parents who were unable to afford the fees due to financial constraints.


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