Parents irked over CBSE schools not reducing fees by 50%

Management accused of expelling students for not paying fees

A couple of schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in Kozhikode district are incurring the wrath of parents over charging of fees in the current pandemic period.

Al-Farook Parents Welfare Association, an organisation representing the parents of Al-Farook Senior Secondary School, Feroke, recently held a demonstration outside the school premises claiming that the management was not willing to reduce the fees despite their expenses coming down considerably now. Parents were being asked to pay for festival and sports meets though such events were not being held. Though the government authorities have allowed reduction in fees between 55% to 67%, the management had reduced it to only 30%. Parents are now planning to refuse fee payment if their demand of a reduction up to 50% was not allowed. The parents’ welfare committee at Prestige Public School, Mankave, staged a protest on Wednesday accusing the management of expelling students, including those in Class 10, on the grounds that they had not paid the fees. Parents claimed that many among them had lost their jobs and were facing financial difficulties. They alleged that the school management was not willing to consider their request to reduce the fees by 50%. A similar problem had cropped up at Apex International School, Odumbra, as well. However, the management and representatives of the parent-teacher association are reported to have sorted out the dispute.

Last month, the Kerala High Court had asked the State government if it was possible for a specified authority in the Education Department to look into the complaints over overcharging of fees and to verify and scrutinise the income and expenditure of CBSE schools. The court also rapped the CBSE for not issuing a circular directing all the affiliated schools not to charge fees in excess of the actual expenses incurred for the current academic year and to verify the statements of income and expenditure.

The General Education Department also barred schools in the State from charging excess fees for the 2020-21 academic year in view of the pandemic and warned against “profiteering” attempts. This followed an interim order of the Kerala High Court on November 20. The court was of the firm view that schools must charge no surplus for this academic year but “only the actuals”. The CBSE had informed the court that fee should be fixed as instructed by respective State governments.

Meanwhile, representatives of Al-Farook Senior Secondary School and Prestige Public School have refuted the allegations. They claimed that parents were being consulted while charging the fees.

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