Thane zilla parishad education department has served notice to four schools seeking explanation after the schools demanded fees from parents. The education officer has given a warning to the schools to abide by the guidelines issued by the state government and not to pressure parents for fees during the lockdown.
The Maharashtra government, in a government resolution issued on March 30, has directed all the schools in the state not to pressure parents of students for fees during lockdown.
The four schools are Universal High School, Lokpuram Public School, Rainbow International School and New Horizon Scholars School.
Sheshrav Bade, education officer of Thane district, said, “We received a few complaints from parents regarding fees, so we sent a notice to these schools. The schools can discuss with the parents teachers association and only collect basic fees.” However, Bade insisted that no schools should enforce fee payment during the pandemic.
All the schools denied having forced any parent to pay fees. However, a parent from Universal High School, on condition of anonymity, said, “The school is compelling us to take a loan from an organisation suggested by them and pay the fees. If I could afford a loan, I would have already paid the fees.
Jesus Lal, CEO of Universal High School, said, “We have a tie-up with an organisation that will offer loan to the parents to pay school fees wherein we will be paying the interest for the same. Most of our parents have paid the fees already and around 10% who are facing problems during the lockdown have been given concession or waiver of fees.”
Lipika Chandra, principal of Lokpuram High School, said, “We have given concessions to parents who are not in a position to pay fees. We are considering the current scenario. However, those who are interested to pay are also welcome as we have other expenses to meet as well.”
Jyoti Nair, principal of New Horizon Scholars School, and Raju Balbale, owner of Rainbow International School, has denied receiving any letter from the education department and complaint from parents. Both the schools have been giving parents concession in fees during lockdown.