The state school education department had earlier issued a circular requesting schools to suspend fee hikes during the crisis. After receiving complaints of non-compliance from parents, the same instructions were reissued.
Waiving the monthly fee, St Joseph’s School in Howrah’s Salkia issued a circular mentioning that “session fees and all education expenses” had also been slashed by 50% but it was not clear till when. “But we are not conducting online classes,” said principal Walter Michael.
Parents of La Martiniere Schools have now requested the school to defer collection of infrastructural development and session fees till the situation improved and regular classes resumed. La Martiniere Schools secretary Supriyo Dhar said: “We are ready to consider the problems faced by individual parents, but it is impossible to defer the fees for everyone. We have huge maintenance cost and must pay our staffers. We have been paying as per the Seventh Pay Commission since January.”
But school authorities are willing to make some concessions, like waiving bus charges, if parents start paying the fees. “Some of the courts in other states have given the ruling that if online classes are being held, schools can collect tuition fees. We are sympathetic towards the parents,” said Richard Gasper, vice-president of the association of Heads of Anglo Indian Schools in India and principal of St Augustine’s Day School, Kolkata.
In a release, Adamas International School said there will be no tuition fee hike for April, May and June. It has also decided to refund of the additional tuition fee of these three months and announced other waivers. “Parents and schools have to work together to ensure better education for our children. We can work out a formula that will not put pressure on parents and help school meet their expenses,” said Terrance John, vice-president of Heads of Anglo-Indian Schools in Bengal.
“My son studies in a day-boarding school in south Kolkata. For one child, the payment is Rs 22,000 a month. Parents with two kids pay Rs 44,000 a month. In this situation, we are willing to pay Rs 8,000 for each child as tuition fee. But we want relief in payout of extra-curricular activities,” said a parent.