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CBSE empowers state to cap private school fee structure

Millennium Post 2020-06-28 00:53:50

CBSE empowers state to cap private school fee structure

Kolkata: There have been instances of parents of the students of various reputed private schools in the city including those run by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) staging demonstration in front of the educational institutions demanding 'rational and justified' fees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Many parents claimed that some of their fellow guardians have been facing financial hardships due to a prolonged lockdown and it would be difficult for them to pay the fees. Some have, however, demanded a waiver of session fees. A majority of the guardians advocated that they should not be charged for stationary items still the schools are closed. While some others viewed that school authorities must stop extracurricular activities. In many places, the guardians demanded a discussion with the school authorities for restructuring of fees for the time being but most of the school managements allegedly remained elusive. The school managements also put forward a set of logic in their support.

Interestingly, the state education department has already been empowered by the CBSE to decide the fee structure of the private schools under its fold in the present pandemic situation.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on a number of occasions during the pandemic situation urged the private schools to consider the issues relating to various fees so that people do not face any inconveniences. Despite the appeal of the Chief Minister, many private school authorities still seem to be unmoved which include the CBSE run schools in the city.

After the lockdown was imposed, secretary of the CBSE, Anurag Tripathi wrote a letter to the Principal Secretary of the school education department in the state clearly saying that the affiliation byelaws of the board stipulates under clause 7.3 that "fees shall be charged under the heads prescribed by the education department of the state". Whereas, clause 7.2 mentions "admission fee and fee charged under any other head are to be charged only as per the regulations of the appropriate government. The state government may examine the issue of lumpsum payment of school fees and teachers' salary sensitively, the letter also says.

State government has not yet intervened into the issue as it left the decision on the private school management so that they resolve the matter after discussing it with the guardians' representatives.