Mysuru: Virtual chatrooms have become the new
classrooms for students and teachers alike, with homes turning into schools as
the world continues to reel under the Covid-19 crisis. Consequently, unlike
earlier, parents now have an active role in the daily rigmarole of their kids’
education. However, the removal of parents from a WhatsApp group used by the
teachers of a Mysuru school for online classes has stirred up a hornets’ nest.
The move is being alleged as a reaction to the delay in the payment of the first instalment of their children’s school fee. The parents, on the other hand, have questioned the management’s decision to hike the fee by 5%, and further alleged exertion of pressure to ensure timely payment of the money. However, one of the representatives of the school’s management said that only those parents, who had paid the fee for only five months, had been removed from the group. “It is not possible to run the school without adequate funds,” he told TOI.
However, the education department, taking exception with the attitude of the school management, subsequently had a cluster resource person (CRP) sent to the institution to issue a warning against exerting pressure on parents to pay the fee. “The school has agreed to adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the government,” said Mysuru south block education officer Shivakumar.
On Monday morning, more than 30 parents were removed by the administrator of the WhatsApp groups, which had been created to engage children in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. They were subsequently informed that the action had been taken owing to non-payment of fees.
The parents are none too pleased with the hike in the fee, particularly when their kids are being imparted lessons on virtual platforms, which they are not very happy with. “There is too much noise during the online classes, and owing to network-related problems children are not learning much. But the school is insisting on payment of the entire fee. They hiked the fee, but are claiming to have waived it,” a parent said.
The representative of the school management said that, fee had been waived off for three months keeping in view the impact that the pandemic has had on the economy. “But many parents are refusing to pay the fee even after the lapse of the due date,” he said.
Deputy director of public instruction, Mysuru Panduranga said that he would ask for a report on the entire episode from the BEO concerned.