Your Space: Private schools, parents should settle fee issues amicably
As parents allege pressure from schools over pending fees, readers suggest steps to ensure students do not suffer an academic year
The recent incidents of parents being manhandled by security staff or ‘bouncers’ at private school campuses is a disturbing trend. As parents allege pressure from schools over pending fees, readers suggest steps to ensure students do not suffer an academic year.
Allow flexibility in fee payment
The pandemic has had a serious impact on our lives, but perhaps no other area of our lives was as profoundly impacted as the education of our children. It led to unforeseen issues for both, the schools as well as the children and their parents. The adverse economic impact on many households also led to delays or defaults in payments of school fees. Both sides must understand each other’s situations. Schools should allow appropriate flexibility in the payment of fees (time-bound instalments, soft loans for parents etc.) and parents should co-operate and honour their side of the deal to the best extent possible.
Such incidents are disturbing
Many lost their jobs or had to shut down their businesses during the last two years. Those who are impacted economically are facing challenges on several fronts. Schools functioned online through the pandemic, so people had to pay for the education of their children. Now that schools have started, some parents are finding it difficult to pay the fees. Incidents of parents being manhandled on the school premises are deeply disturbing. To make things worse, some schools have hired bouncers to do the job. There is no denying that the educational institutes need funds, however, taking a humane approach for those who are unable to pay is the least we can expect from them. Allowing more time for some parents to pay the fees would ensure that the children of such parents do not lose a year of education.
Make provision for poor students
As private schools need to run daily operations, they would want all the students to pay the fees on time. But schools also get donation funds so they should make some provisions to pay fees of students who belong to economically weaker sections, or those whose parents have lost jobs during pandemic. So that they can continue with their studies without any hassles. On the other hand, the fees of other students should be paid on time.
Parents should not be burdened
The school authorities should not use harsh practices of keeping bouncers and humiliating parents. School bodies that are running should understand and cooperate in such a way that parents will not feel the burden of sending their wards to school. Schools should come out with various schemes where they can give options to parents to pay fees in small instalments. On the other hand, parents should also support school authorities and pay the fees as per schemes made available by the school.
Communication is the key
Usually, most parents plan long term when it comes to payment of fees of their ward, but the last two years were difficult for all so the authorities should not burden parents and instead give them some time to make the payment. Healthy communication should be there between parents and school so the education of the child is not affected.