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School fees to be taken late, says private school union

13/04/2020 at 1:32 PM

Bhubaneswar, Apr 13: After Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik advised private school authorities to reduce or delay school fees from April to June in view of lockdown; the Private Schools’ Federation on Saturday has said that they would take school fees later instead of reducing it.

“During the lockdown everything is closed even the schools but teachers and other staff have to be paid. How will we pay staff and teachers if students’ school fees stopped? Under no circumstances will school fees be reduced but fees will be collected later. Fees will not be collected until the situation is resolved. Fees will be collected later date,” said federation president Dr Badrinath Patnaik.

“Even though teachers are still at home during lockdowns, 80 per cent of teachers are teaching students online,” he said, adding that all schools have been informed to collect the fees these three months in later period.

On the other hand, the Odisha Parents’ Federation has opposed the decision of the Private Schools’ Federation.

Parents’ Federation president Basudev Bhatt said, “Everything was closed for the coronavirus and people’s financial standards have collapsed. At such a time, we expected schools to decide to waive the fee completely or to reduce it by a few percent. But they have decided to delay”.

Even if the government had declared COVID-19 as a disaster so how can parents pay school fees where everything is closed, Bhatt questioned.

According to the Right to Education Act, each school has an emergency fund and during a disaster, they will pay teachers and other staff to cover the costs. So schools should be spending the emergency funds at this time and parents should not be charged fees rather full school fees should be waived for three months instead of late, he added.

And if the schools say we don’t have money then it is running at a loss, he further added and asked that how some schools are opening one branch after another even if they are in loss.

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