FEES OF SCHOOL/COLLEGES TO BE CHARGED ON STUDENTS DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC – JUSTIFIED OR NOT?
~ Harshdeep Singh
A request has been documented in the Supreme Court by guardians from various states looking for announcement of ban or postponement of fees during the lockdown time frame. The application looks for order by the Center and all states to instruct every single tuition based school to take only proportionate expenditure of real consumption through the online virtual classes and no other kind of fee from the students till the beginning of physical classes. The request expressed that due to Covid-19 prompted lockdown, guardians who can't pay the fees are facing monetary difficulties which may drive them to pull back their children from schools.
The parents have also raised worries about unfriendly effect of unregulated internet learning. The request has been recorded by Mayank Kshirsagar and drawn by advocate Pankhuri. Some colleges are taking fees more than one lakh per semester and it is not possible for some parents in this pandemic. As some universities referred some ways to pay the fees in installments but the institution will get the full fee and the mediator between will take installments from the parents. Why the universities can’t waive off the fee or give any kind of concession?
SCHOOL’S EXPENSES AND FUNDS
Lawyer and activist Ashok Aggarwal has demanded full waiver as schools have enough corpus of funds to bear their fixed expenses like teachers' and other employees’ salary. He says the Centre and state governments must pass a strict order asking them to waive off the tuition fees. Further he added - the public schools mint money, like demanding huge donations during admission. Besides, all of them have an emergency fund. They can use it for meeting school expenses. But the schools added that about 95% of their expenses are fixed costs like salary of teachers and other school staff which are there whether they are open or not. The variable expenses like fuel, electricity, stationery items etc. form only 5% of the total.
In my opinion, schools must take the academic fees but should provide concession. We understand that they have to provide salaries but due to this lockdown, many businesses faced huge losses. And families having a COVID 19 patient have to bear the expenses of the treatment and the mental trauma to pay these huge amounts is also there. This loss is faced by a majority of families and to stand together & support each other in this situation is only the key. With unity, we can overcome every situation. ‘We all are together in this’ said by a lot of people but only a few really mean it. Our freedom fighters struggled together and therefore they were able to free themselves and our whole nation but India also faced Partition. We learn from our past, if we were united at that time then the partition could be avoided. Talking about the present situation, we all have to be united and help each and every. The schools should also cooperate with the families who are not able to pay.
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