Indore: The corona pandemic has landed every sector into huge financial and livelihood crisis. Along with the economy and many other sectors, the education system of the country is on a toss. On one side where students are demanding cancellation of exams ahead of their safety, parents are protesting against the schools charging fees for the lockdown period.
Four parent representatives; advocate Chanchal Gupta, Satish Sharma, Sachin Sharma and Deepak Sharma, representing over 10,000 parents from Indore met the minister of State for School Education Inder Singh Parmar and appealed to set an appropriate fee to be collected by schools for online classes.
The representatives discussed the plea of parents, who are being pressured by schools to pay fee and threatening to give transfer certificate (TC) to the child if not paid by allotted due dates.
Parents of different private schools have come together and have been running a campaign ‘Jago Palak Jago’ to protest against schools collecting fee for lockdown period and further, complete school fee while conducting online classes.
The representatives submitted a memorandum to Parmar after explaining parents’ problems.
“As you know, since the last week of March, the country has been undergoing a worldwide pandemic of ‘corona’ due to which the entire country has faced an unexpected and emergency nationwide lockdown during which economic activities have completely come to a standstill,” Gupta said.
Further, he quoted the economic and livelihood crisis faced by a large section of the country. “Many people have either lost their jobs or their income has been slashed down to half,” Gupta said.
He added that during this period, all private and government educational institutions are also completely closed and the situation is not clear about re-opening as of now.
“Our children have been studying in the same school for the last 15 years, and parents have been paying all the fees as demanded by the school, but in current economic crisis, it is not feasible to pay for lockdown period when school did not even function,” Gupta said.
Further, he said that as such, it is expected from competent individuals and competent institutions that they should come forward in the social interest and take decisions in the larger public interest for the time being, not expecting private interests and benefits.
Citing responsibility of school, parents demanded that school should not collect fees from the school for the duration of the school closure and do not pressurize students to study online.
“Because online education also has many contradictions, asymmetries and health problems,” Gupta said.
Raise complaints to Collector, DEO and send a copy of memorandum to Bhopal office, says Parmar
The minister in response to the plea said that a meeting will be held with the Chief Minister regarding this issue.
Parmar assured the parents that the issue will definitely consider and the suggestions given in the meeting, adding that positive decisions will be taken in the interest of parents.
“If any private school violates the guidelines issued by the government related to fees, or refuses to go to school due to non-submission of fees and threatens to withdraw from school, then the school must face dire consequences,” Parmar said.
Further, he asked parents to file a complaint to District Collector, District Education Officer (DEO) and send a copy to the education office in Bhopal.
“I will monitor the complaints and keep an eye on the action being taken on the complaint ensuring strict action against the schools violating the rules of the government,” Parmar said.