School fees in Odisha likely to be reduced as govt submits proposal to High Court
School fees in 6700-odd private schools across Odisha are all set to be reduced for the lockdown period after a joint committee comprising state government officials, school authorities and parents submitted a report in Orissa High Court recommending a reduction of school fee by 26 per cent.
The recommendation of the committee came following a suggestion by Odisha High Court early this month asking the secretary of state school and mass education department to convene a joint meeting of representatives of parents, teachers and private school and resolve the fee hike issue. Since April at least 3 PILs including one by All Odisha Parents Association have been filed before Orissa High Court seeking complete exemption of tuition fees by private schools during this lockdown as the state government had declared Covid-19 pandemic a disaster.
As per the committee’s recommendation, there should not be any fee reduction in schools charging up to Rs 6,000 annually. While it recommended a reduction of 7.5 per cent for schools charging fee between Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000 per annum, it was 15 per cent and 20 per cent fee cut in schools charging Rs 24,000-Rs 48,000 and Rs 48,000-Rs 72,000 per annum, respectively.
For educational institutions charging between Rs 72,000 and Rs 100,000, the committee has recommended 25 per cent cut in fee along with 26 per cent fee reduction in schools charging more than Rs 100,000 per year.
However, the division bench of the Orissa High Court that is hearing the matter has reserved its judgement after concluding the hearing.
In April, Odisha government has asked the private schools to reduce or defer the school fees from April to June to help the parents whose incomes were adversely affected due to lockdown. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had appealed schools to be sympathetic while dealing with school fees.