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Home / Education / Private schools’ body says lockdown over, demands full fee; govt says not yet

Private schools’ body says lockdown over, demands full fee; govt says not yet

The directorate of education (DoE), however, has clarified that an order issued on April 18, barring private schools from charging any other component except tuition fee till lockdown is in effect, is still in force.

education Updated: Jul 02, 2020 09:49 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Private schools in Delhi are free to charge annual and development charges besides tuition fee from July since lockdown is over now, a body representing 400 unaided schools has written to the Delhi government.

The directorate of education (DoE), however, has clarified that an order issued on April 18, barring private schools from charging any other component except tuition fee till lockdown is in effect, is still in force. “Our April 18 order is still valid. The government has not lifted the lockdown completely as of now. There has been some relaxation and the schools do not fall under that ambit. The schools cannot charge anything other than the tuition fee,” said Binay Bhushan, director of the DoE.

The Delhi government had announced on June 26 that all schools will stay closed until July 31.

In its letter to the government on June 25, the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools --- an umbrella body of over 400 schools -- said private institutions are finding it difficult to pay salaries of teachers and other staff and managing expenses such as maintenance of buildings and transport.

“Your order clearly mentions that this restriction imposed by the government is a temporary phase and the same shall be withdrawn once the lockdown period is withdrawn. Now since the lockdown is officially withdrawn by both the central government as well as by the government of Delhi NCT and the process of unlocking has started, the schools in accordance with the order are free to charge annual fees and development charges on pro rata basis effective from July, 2020,” said SK Bhattacharya, president of the committee, in the letter.

The Centre on Monday issued guidelines for the second of a three-phase plan aimed at lifting restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The fresh guidelines said schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till July 31.

As per the April 18 order of the Delhi government, “Annual and development charges can be charged from parents on a pro rata basis, only on a monthly basis after the completion of the lockdown.” The order added that schools can only charge tuition fee.

The annual fee is a sum schools charge parents over and above the tuition fee. While the majority of schools charge it once a year, some take the payment half-yearly or quarterly.

The school’s body, however, argued that they do not have sufficient funds to meet necessary expenditure. “Some of the schools are complaining that they do not have money to pay salaries of their staff. The schools authorities are ready to give concessions to parents who are facing financial constraints,” Bhattacharya said.

Aprajita Gautam, president of Delhi parents association, said she has received several complaints from parents against private schools demanding charges other than the tuition fees from July. “Many parents have approached us, complaining about schools asking for annual fees and other charges from this month. There is a lot of confusion among parents since schools are saying that the Delhi government’s April 18 order is not valid any more. The government should issue fresh orders in this regard,” she said.

Prince (goes by first name), whose two children are enrolled in a private school in Janakpuri in classes 8 and 6, said that the school has demanded annual fee and development charges with July fees.

“The school has asked us pay an annual fee and development fee with the tuition fee in July, saying that the Delhi government’s order is not valid since unlock has been announced. My shop remained shut two months due to the lockdown. Even after opening the shop, I am not being able to earn much. I won’t be able to pay the entire amount,” he said.

Another parent of a class 5 student at a private school in Jamia Nagar said, “The school has uploaded the fee structure of July mentioning annual charges and other components. We won’t pay the fee till the Delhi government issues a clarification.”

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