Mumbai: Schools ease pressure on parents, offer partial refund of fees

Updated: Apr 30, 2020, 12:23 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Parents have been requesting for financial relief from the school as they have been facing pressure in terms of their jobs and businesses due to the lockdown imposed by the government due to the Coronavirus outbreak

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

With the lockdown prompting students and parents in uncertainty, schools in Mumbai have been acting on requests received from parents on rolling back fees and refunding miscellaneous fares.

According to a report in The Times of India, city schools have been rolling back fees for bus and canteen as children are attending classes online and not availing the services.

Parents have been requesting for financial relief from the school as they have been facing pressure in terms of their jobs and businesses due to the lockdown imposed by the government due to the Coronavirus outbreak. A parent was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the requests for carrying forward a portion of tuition fees and/or additional variable costs to the next term were also made, to which schools replied that they are looking for ways to address the concerns in the best possible way.

The Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Bandra Kurla Complex issued a notice to students and parents that states, "During this time, as we offer virtual classes, your child is not availing the school transport service and the canteen snack facility. Taking this into account, the school has decided to refund the charges paid toward these services for the current quarter of 2020."

Addressing the concerns by parents, the management of the Children’s Academy Group of Schools said that they have decided to roll back on the fee hike. The school’s trustee Rohan Bhatt was quoted by the newspaper saying that "We understand that the parents also might be going through a difficult period financially and, hence, have decided to roll back the fee hike for at least six months," adding that they are also allowing parents to pay the fees at their own pace. However, the trustee also mentioned that if the situation persists, the school may face trouble in paying the salaries of teachers and staff.

On the other hand, some parents said that they are willing to pay the schools until they can afford to and as long as children are getting their education from online classes. Lauding the efforts by the teachers, a parent was quoted by the newspaper as saying, "The efforts the teachers and school are putting into teaching the kids is phenomenal. My child is learning everything from football to keyboard through online classes. So as long as we can, we would be willing to support the school."

Meanwhile, on the circular issued by the Maharashtra state education board, asking schools to be considerate while demanding fees for the ongoing and the next academic year, state education minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Friday that the parents can lodge a complain to the district education officers if schools are forcing them to pay during the lockdown period.

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