No concession, schools just requested to delay demand for fees until after lockdown

Nagpur: Fake news peddlers on WhatsApp misrepresented a circular state education department asking schools not to demand fee payment before the lockout time ends, creating a lot of confusion. Most parents and schools have been led to believe that a complete waiver of the fee has been declared even though it was a promise of ‘deferred payment’ at best.

The circular explicitly notes that all schools are allowed not to compel parents to pay either pending or the fee for the next academic session before the lockout is in place. The circular possibly presumed not only financial difficulties but also the fact that many parents still choose to pay the fee by depositing cash or cheque at banks or fee counters at school. With the conventional fee payment system not being an option in the current case, the department of state education has rightly instructed schools to postpone fee requests before the lockout ends.

Some of the WhatsApp messages distort the meaning and cause a lot of confusion. After incorrect understanding of the circular reached them some schools too approached. It is obvious from the circular that once the lockout is over schools will start collecting their pending dues again.

Rajendra Dayma, president of the Association of Independent English Schools (IESA), said they appreciate the government’s stance. “We must comply with the guidelines on receiving fees from the State Education Department because we too recognize the movement limitations,” Dayma said.

The Pan-Maharashtra Trustee’s Association, however, also reminded the government that school owners are still reeling under financial stress not only due to coronavirus effects but also due to non-payment of RTE bills. Dayma said, “We have so many schools that even a single rupee has not been reimbursed for the admissions to RTE free. In some cases, the sum of the reimbursement is already with the department of district education but under some or the other excuse, they don’t give it to our colleges. “IESA says it stands firm under boycotting all RTE admissions until every bill has been cleared.

The RTE lottery has already been carried out in the state with parents being admitted to the school in which their ward has been admitted. Nonetheless, due to the lockout, the entire admission process was put on hold until the government lifts restriction on people’s movement.

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