Lockdown and the suspension of classes in all schools across the city has led several institutions to roll back the fee increase or put the school fee on hold. School authorities finding it difficult to handle as many parents complained of excess collection of fees.
Many principals used the expression “unprecedented” while speaking to Hello Vizag about it. Some parents have written to schools that their “businesses have been closed”, or “offices are not paying their dues” and that they are finding it difficult to pay the school fees.
Some schools have asked parents to make monthly payments instead of the entire quarter, “Now, payments have started trickling in… if the situation continues for long it will be difficult,” said a private school principal. “It is difficult to expect parents of two kids to pay the fees for three months for both.” Schools have extended the deadline of payment of the first quarter fees or have given concessions under some heads, but they are not considering a “fee waiver”. “It will open the floodgates because times are uncertain and then many will start approaching us. We can delay but not waive the fees,” the principal of another church-run school in Visakhapatnam said. An institution has to be “financially healthy”, the head of another school said.
When the Hello Vizag brought the issue before the District Educational Officer (DEO) B Lingeswara Reddy one week back, he said consequent upon a number of complaints received from the parents that the managements were collecting additional fee, we have warned management of private educational institutions over alleged collection of excess fees in the district. Private schools should only collect last year tuition fee and they should also allow the parents to pay the fee in instalments, he said. He said that Chairman of Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory Commissioner (APSERMC) R Kantha Rao had issued orders regarding it and action will be taken against those managements violating the norms he said. As per the directions, online classes for Class I to VIII should be conducted for 35 to 40 minutes (two sessions) and for class IX and X, the online classes should be conducted for 35 to 40 Min (Four sessions a day).
He instructed the private school managements to provide proper salaries to the teachers. He said that students, parents and private school teachers can contact helplines numbers 94938661412, 9493861417 and inform their problems.
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