In view of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and recent Supreme Court order for school fee reduction, former school education minister Ashish Shelar in a letter to his successor Varsha Gaikwad on Monday has demanded 20% reduction in private school fees, no salary cuts for school staff and payment in four installments by the parents. He said the government needs to ensure that school teachers and staff are not burdened with any salary cut by school management. Parents should be allowed to pay school fees to be paid in four installments.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic of last year, private schools have reduced teachers and staff salaries, although the Maharashtra Government did not levy any school fee cut last year. The schools benefited from substantial savings in power, water, maintenance, establishment charges as schools remained shut, which were not passed on to the staff or students,” said Shelar. He noted that it is now clear as the state prepares for the impending third wave that schools across the state will be functioning in online mode for this year.
“I demand an immediate fee cut of 20% in private school fees for the coming academic year. This is in line with the recent Supreme Court judgement which upheld the Rajasthan Government decision to reduce school fees for all private schools and directed that 15% fees be reduced for online school classes,” he said. He argued that substantial savings by school management in terms of infrastructure usage, power, water maintenance bills must be passed to benefit the financially stressed students and parent community.
Shelar reminded that the state government last year had not announced any school fee reduction but only declared a freeze on school fee increase as per his demand.