Parents say some schools do not let students attend classes if fee is not paid; Education Minister intervenes
The Department of General Education has started acting on complaints that some unaided schools are not permitting students to attend online classes on account of non-payment of fee.
A few parents had lodged complaints with the Ernakulam district offices of department on this issue after the new academic year began online on June 1. The department has directed the district heads to resolve the complaints without delay.
A parent had complained to V. Sivankutty, Minister for General Education, that the management of Choice School in Thripunithura had prevented nearly 140 students from attending online classes because of non-payment of fee. Senior officials of the department said the Minister had intervened and ensured that all students of the school had access to online classes.
The Deputy Director of Education, Ernakulam, informed the school authorities that the Supreme Court and Kerala High Court had made it clear that no student should be denied the right to pursue education, especially amidst the financial crisis faced by the parents following the pandemic situation.
Ajith P. Jacob, Principal, refuted the complaint. “It was a wrong statement. In fact, over 500 of our students are currently pursuing online sessions without paying the first instalment of fee for the new academic year,” he said. The school management said that no student would be barred from attending online classes for non-payment of fees.
The Education Department has been trying to convince the managements of unaided schools not to collect fees for activities and facilities not offered to students. The officials have been reiterating the Supreme Court directive asking educational institutions to reduce fees as the running costs have come down with facilities provided on the campus remaining closed.
The department recalled the apex court’s observation that insisting on payment for facilities not provided to students would amount to profiteering which must be avoided by the schools.
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