As Himachal Pradesh government is still in the process of finalizing rules for charging fees by government and private schools for the lockdown period, many parents have urged the government to direct private schools not to demand annual charges and rationalize payment of fees from students.

Though, education department has directed private schools not to charge annual fees at the time of the start of new session but several schools have been collecting huge money from students in the name of annual charges, every year.

Earlier, the schools used to collect this sum in the name of building fund, which was banned by the high court. Now, the private schools have devised a new method to collect the fund in the name of annual charges. A few schools are collecting huge sum by charging five to ten thousand as annual charges from a student every year.

Few parents have made a representation to Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj highlighting various issues concerning charging of fees by private schools.

Through this representation the parents have said, “Despite deferring payment of fees in all schools by the state government many schools are making phone calls to parents and sending messages for quite some time appealing them to deposit fees of their children in the name of paying salaries to school staff.”

“While, predicament of small schools can be well understood but there are many who have nationwide network of schools with huge deposits in banks, asking for fees for paying salaries of teachers and other staff,” said a parent .

Since economic constraints are weighing high on the mind of many parents due to cut in the income due to lockdown, they have urged the Education Minister, “ To direct all private schools not to charge annual fee, rationalize payment of fee of lockdown period and issue guidelines in this regard at the earliest .”

A top official in the education department said, “The state government has formed a committee to look into in every aspect and study rules framed by the neighboring states, guidelines in this regard would be issued soon.”

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