Kolkata school says will debar student if first quarter fees not paid – The New Indian Express

Kolkata News


KOLKATA: Amid agitation by guardians to protest against hike in school fees or demand for late payment of fees, a prominent English medium institute of Kolkata has courted controversy by saying it will debar a student from attending online classes, if his or her first quarter fees are not paid by July 10.

The G D Birla Centre for Education also said that a guardian, who has problems in paying fees, should approach the school individually instead of holding protests on the road.

Education Minister Partha Chatterjee disapproved of the move by the institute, while guardians alleged that during this difficult COVID-19 time, the school is forcing them to pay fees for services not availed by students.

“If the first quarter fee (the period April 2020 to June 2020) is not paid on or before 10th July 2020, we are left with no option but to exclude your ward from the online classes and preclude access to resource material,” the email sent to guardians on Tuesday by the school principal read.

The notice triggered fresh protests by guardians before the school building in south Kolkata on Wednesday.

They had held demonstrations there earlier also.

“A large number of parents have already paid the fees and a section of those who haven’t are holding protests in front of the school building. This is not fair,” a spokesman of the institute told PTI.

“A guardian can approach the management individually if he or she has any problem and it will be considered from a humanitarian angle. But staging protests before the school building is not the way. They all knew what will be the amount of fees while admitting their wards,” he said.

Guardians said they do not have any problem to pay the tuition fees of Rs 300 but the school is forcing them to pay fees under several heads, while the students are attending online classes from home.

“When online classes started, many parents had to buy laptops or smart phones. Did the school fund these expenses?” one of the guardians said.

“It is not the right thing. This is not done,” Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said on the notice of the school.

Chatterjee told PTI that he had repeatedly asked private schools not to hike tuition fees and not to ask parents to pay fees under transport, library, computer, stationary heads immediately.

“I have also sent letters to the CISCE and CBSE boards,” he said.

After the state education department’s circular in April urging private schools not to hike tuition fees, many institutes have complied, General Secretary of Association of Heads of ICSE Schools Nabarun Dey said.

He, however, said schools cannot waive all other fees as they have to pay salaries to employees and run the establishment.

“Even running online classes entails investment by the school authorities,” Dey said.

The government asked private schools to sympathetically consider cases of those parents who are unable to bear the expenses, Dey said.

“The schools can certainly consider the case of not charging fees under categories other than tuition but guardians have to submit proof saying why they are unable to pay individually to the management,” he said.

The Council for the Indian school certificate examinations (CISCE) Chief Executive Gerry Arathoon declined to give a reaction on the development in the G D Birla Centre For Education.

There had been protests by guardians before several private schools in the city and elsewhere in the state protesting against hike in fees and demanding that other fees are not charged in the COVID-19 time.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kolkata/2020/jul/01/kolkata-school-says-will-debar-student-if-first-quarter-fees-not-paid-2164067.html