Himachal Pradesh government has warned private schools building pressure on parents of students to deposit fees during lockdown period.
This warning has been issued by the state government after reports of repeated messages by certain school managements were brought to the notice of the government.
Additional Chief Secretary Education had directed all schools including private schools affiliated to HP Board of School Education, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Board of School Education, not to ask parents to deposit fees of their children studying in these schools during the lockdown period keeping in view the special circumstances.
The state government is already in the process of formulation of a policy to rationalize fees and in the present case has invoked proviso of Disaster Management Act.
There have also been complaints of annual charges taken by almost all private schools at the beginning of new session ranging to several thousands after Himachal Pradesh High Court had banned collection of building funds.
A few parents in Mandi have been complaining against management of a reputed private school, part of a national chain of schools, for allegedly building pressure on the parents through phone calls and messages to deposit fees. Parents doing businesses are finding it difficult to deposit fees at present due to lockdown.
On the other hand body of private school managements have also been urging the state government to address their problems in view of closure of schools as many of these are continuing studies through online classes and it is becoming difficult for them to pay salaries to teachers due to lockdown .
Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said, “The state government is already seized of all demands of parents and school managements; we had discussed this matter in the cabinet meeting and Chief Minister has asked education department to prepare a note in this regard and announcement would be made soon.”
The state government has also received complaints of pressure being built by certain private schools to deposit fees during the lockdown period and department would take strict action against these,” he adds.