OUR STAFF REPORTER
A difference of opinion over the opening of schools gathered steam a day after private school organizations met the authorities of the school education department. Representatives of the Palak Mahasangh met the school authorities on Friday and urged them not to open schools for now.
“When children can attend public functions, such as weddings, why can they not come to schools?” reasoned the authorities from the school education department. The parents countered, saying that children below Class VIII, too, are attending public functions. Then, why not open schools for them, too?
This led to pin-drop silence in the room of the commissioner, school education, Jaishri Kiyawat, for a while during the meeting of the Palak Mahasangh. Parents under this banner met the commissioner and requested her not to open schools till Class XI.
One of the parents said the academic session was almost over, with only two months left for the final exams. Generally, final exams are held in February or March. Now, private schools want to realize the full fees and are likely to extend the session by some months.
The parents’ body has also asked the school education department to ensure that there should be no fee hike by the schools as ordered by the high court. Moreover, those schools that have realized fees other than tuition fees during the lockdown period should refund them to the parents, or adjust the amount with the fees for the next month.
The Palak Mahasangh said that, if their demands were not met, they would intensify their agitation.
‘Only for Class XII’
"Class XII board exams are important. Classes should be held for students of only Class XII; for the other classes, the government should announce general promotion for this session," said Prabodh Pandya, convener, Palak Mahasangh.
‘Will fleece parents’
"Private school organizations are insisting on opening schools so that they can realize the full fees from parents. At present, the schools are allowed to charge only tuition fees. When the day private schools reopen, they’ll fleece parents in the name of transportation, sports and other activities," said Kamal Vishwakarma, president of the parents’ body.
‘Will resolve all issues’
"I’ve met the representatives of the Palak Mahasangh and listened to their concerns. These are extraordinary times because of the pandemic. We’ll see that the concerns of both parents and schools are addressed properly," said Jaishri Kiyawat, commissioner, school education.