Coronavirus outbreak: School hikes fees by 6 per cent amid lockdown

Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 07:28 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Management defends move, saying it has to pay salaries to the staff, and that it has allowed payment of revised fees in instalments but parents seek compassionate view

Jankidevi Public School, in Four Bungalows, Andheri. Pic/Ashish Rane
Jankidevi Public School, in Four Bungalows, Andheri. Pic/Ashish Rane

While the state government directed schools to not ask parents for fees during the lockdown, Jankidevi Public School in Andheri has decided to increase its fees by 6 per cent. Although parents protested, the school management has claimed that they cannot do without increasing the fees as they have to pay salaries to the staff. The school added it will allow parents to pay the revised fees in instalments.

The management sent messages to parents asking them to pay the first instalment by May 14 and share a screenshot so that the child's name is not mentioned in the defaulters' list. When parents protested, the school issued another appeal stating that it was their only source of income.

"It is important to note that the schools should have a compassionate view in this case. While the school claims the decision was approved by the Parent-Teacher Association, many parents said they were unaware of it. Moreover, many of us are against the need for increasing the fees during such times. But there is no way for us to approach any authority during the lockdown," a parent said.

The school, however, denied that it lacked compassion. Narendra B Verma, chairperson of Jankidevi Educational Trust which runs the school, said, "Even now, all students are getting online lessons as our teachers work from home. We have not stopped it irrespective of fee payment."

Talking about the increase in the fee-structure, Verma said, "It was approved by the PTA well in advance and does not amount to much when divided into 12 months. We are not only allowing the instalments for the parents' convenience but we also plan to further extend the deadlines for these instalments if required. Many parents have already shown their solidarity with the school by paying the fees, and just a few parents are against it."

14 May
Day till when the first instalment has to be paid

Pvt schools' body to approach govt

While the state education minister Varsha Gaikwad asked schools to not take fees during the lockdown, private schools have expressed major concern as they would not be able to pay the salaries of the staff. So the private school association is planning to approach governments to address the issue.

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