After the Karnataka government asked all school in the state to only charge 70% of the tuition fees for the academic year 2020-21, private school managements in Bengaluru and across the state are criticising the move, with some associations also considering approaching the courts over the matter, the News Minute reports.
Minister for Primary and secondary Education S Suresh Kumar told media persons on Friday that the 30% reduction was arrived at after detailed consultation with all stakeholder including parent associations and school managements.
“Developmental fees, festival fees, or uniform fees cannot be taken. Fees for excursions or use of swimming pool etc. cannot be charged. Private schools should look at parent sympathetically and parent should also realize that it is their teachers who are going without salaries, so this common minimum understanding should help in implementing this solution that we have derived at,” he had said.
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Shashi Kumar, President of the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary School (KAMS) said that the 30% fee cut ordered would actually be around 50-60% of the fee for schools who charged Rs 25,000 yearly for students.
“We do not know on what factors the government has decided this cut. This is because they have already curtailed development fees, term fees and special development fees; and the yearly increment has already been cut,” Shashi said.
He pointed out that for most schools, entry-level admissions had not taken place for classes like LKG, UKG or first standard at all, and that all the deficits had resulted in a cash crunch.
He asked whether the government wanted private schools to pay only 50% of the salaries to the teachers and non-teaching staff, adding that the association may have to approach the courts if the government did not come up with a solution.
President of the CBSE Schools Association M Srinivasan said the state government could not enforce this order “due to an ongoing litigation at the Karnataka High Court”.
He said the body was considering all options and exploring whether to go to court again. He said they had already approached the HC, challenging the state government’s amendment which has brought non-state board schools under the Karnataka government’s ambit. “In that case, the HC in an interim order had said that the state government cannot take any coercive action until the court settles the matter,” Srinivasan told the News Minute.
“We have already lost more than 25-30% of our revenue, if you account for the 20-30% of parents who have anyway not paid the fees,” he said, adding that they not saved money on anything other than transportation, for which most schools had already paid back part of the fees to parents.
Srinivasan asked how they could refund the money that parents have already paid, having spent it on salaries.
He suggested that instead of the blanket fee cut, the government could have opted to specifically help parents in financial turmoil.