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Kolkata school hikes fees, continues to ask for bimonthly payment

Because of ongoing lockdown, HRD Ministry had appealed schools not to take fees, but not only Kolkata's DAV school demanding fees, they have hiked it too

Kolkata: A CBSE-affiliated school in south Kolkata has hiked its fees for the academic session 2020-21.

DAV Public School in Taratala has hiked admission fees for all classes. A notice in this regard was circulating in a WhatsApp group a day after the Human Resource Development  (HRD) Ministry asked private schools not to hike fees owing to the ongoing lockdown and the prevailing health crisis in the country.

The notice, dated April 14, says the first bimonthly fees for the new session should be paid online by April 30. However, there was no signature of the principal on the notice that was uploaded on the school’s website on April 14.

Other notices on the website concerning decisions taken by the school have the principal’s signature. Some of the concerned guardians tried to contact the school for clarification and sent a mail to the official email ID a few days back but there has been no reply so far. A student said the mail was probably sent on April 16 “but I am not sure and I came to know from a friend in another section”.

An aggrieved parent said he paid Rs 12,560 in the last academic session but “this time, it has been raised to Rs 16,010”.

“How can the school do that when there is a government directive? Also, now that the school is closed some of the maintenance charges should be waived off. Then why this extra charge? Many guardians will have problem in paying but no one wants to take up the issue for obvious reasons. Those parents whose wards are admitted to Class X do not want to take the risk fearing backlash. There is no clarity on the matter,” said the parent, who did not want to be named.

The guardian said he was so confused with the notice and shocked at the fee amount that he called up a state government helpline. The person who took the call said he would get back.

Sources said the school is likely to come up with another notice on April 27 but this could not be verified separately.

The HRD Ministry on Friday urged schools across the country not to hike fees and not to charge three months’ fees after several parents took up the issue with the ministry. It also hoped that state education departments must be considering the demands in coordination with guardians and school managements.

Parents across the country were worried about paying fees as the economy of the country is adversely hit by the crisis and small businesses are grappling to stay afloat. This prompted some states to notify schools not to take fees for more than a month. In some places like Lucknow, the local administration has asked schools not to put pressure on parents for fees at all. Despite this, there were reports of insensitivity on the part of schools.

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