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Pune: Fees payment plaints reach PCMC education department

PIMPRI CHINCHWAD: The education department of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has received more complaints from parents about fees payment in the private schools. In the second week of June, the department had nine complaints which rose to 19 last week.
Even though the state government has told schools to adopt a flexible fees approach this year sighting the pandemic situation, private schools reportedly are insisting that fees be paid upfront.

The state government on March 30 had told schools to be considerate while demanding fees this academic year. Education minister Varsha Gaikwad had announced that parents can complain if they were told by schools to pay the fees.

An official from the education department, on the condition of anonymity said several schools have flouted the state government’s instructions.
Parents are being burdened for payment of fees. To avoid any issues with the ward’s academics, some parents comply with the schools’ demands, but not all parents can afford the hefty fees now. Some have been rendered jobless and those with jobs are waiting for the economic sector to begin functioning.
The official said when schools are served notices, some did roll back their demands, while others were adamant. A report of such schools will be sent to higher authorities, he added.
He added that the parents can lodge complaints to the education department if they come across any kind of extra-ordinary demands from private schools.
According to the official, the schools cannot increase the fees or demand upfront payment considering the current pandemic situation and the same has been conveyed by the state government’s education department as well as the corporation’s education department.

 A TOI report in April said Gaikwad had tweeted a video in March in which she said: “In the backdrop of coronavirus, a government decision has been taken regarding the demand of school fees from parents...If you have a complaint about this, please contact your district education officer.

 Parents can either sent an email or call. Officials said they are also tracking complaints on social media and have spoken to the schools concerned, and they have agreed to keep fee collection on hold.

 Another TOI report on May 30 said after appeals from parents, the education department released a list of nodal officers to receive fee related complaints during the Covid-19 lock down.

 The department had continued to receive several complaints even after their circulars to schools that asked them not to force parents to pay during the lock down or hike fees this year.

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