Tuition fee: Private schools mull over approaching the court, students sandwiched between school and government
Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP

BHOPAL: Students have been sandwiched in confrontation between the state government and private school associations. The government had announced that schools can charge only tuition fees. Protesting the government stand, private schools have announced to shut classes from July 12.

ìMy son is aiming for top engineering institutes and is preparing accordingly. We all know that to beat such exams, the basics of all subjects need to be very strong, which is possible only through class studies,î said Savita Bhargava, parent of a Class 11 student.

Childrenís psychology has been affected heavily due to the pandemic. It took a lot of effort†by them to adapt to online classes. Now it seems that there would be a break in the online classes as well, added worried Bhargava.

Private school owners say that they were carrying on their responsibility but the government intervened in an unfair manner.

"In a healthy democracy, any decision should be taken by taking all the parties concerned into confidence. Views of private school owners were not taken by the state government before taking the decision,î said Vini Raj Modi, president of Association of Unaided Schools.

On the other hand, the school education authorities say that the High Court has decided that private schools will charge only tuition fees during the pandemic and that there should be no fee hike.

School education department had issued an order to collectors of all districts to ensure that schools do not increase fees beyond 10% as stipulated in the Fee Regulation Act.

The Madhya Pradesh Palak Mahasangh says that the order issued by the school education department about ensuring fee hike not beyond 10% was completely against the spirit of decision given by the High Court.

"We are ready to pay a feasible amount to the schools. We understand that they too have to pay salary to teachers and other employees besides other expenses like electricity and water charges etc," said Kamal Vishwakarma, president of the Palak Mahasangh.

But why they charge for facilities like sports, library, canteen and other things which are not being used by the students, he added.

Private school owners have taken loans but have not been provided any relief in the EMIs. Their recurring expenses remain even if the schools are closed but still they haven't received any relief package from the government.

"There would be no issue if the government provides us relief packages as given to other industries," said the Association of Unaided Schools.

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