Siddaramaiah urges govt. to fix concessional school fee

He says govt. should not succumb to the lobby of private educational managements

With the State government’s decision to reopen primary and secondary schools from July 1, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah has urged the government to fix concessional fee to be paid by parents to end the stand-off between parents and school managements over the issue during the 2021-22 academic year.

In a letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the government should take steps for strict implementation of concessional fee to be paid by parents during the 2021-22 academic year and release of withheld salaries for teaching and non-teaching staff.

Last year, the government announced a 30% fee cut but many managements collected full fees, including transportation fee, from parents owing to poor enforcement of the order. The government should not succumb to the lobby of private educational managements, the Congress leader said.

With regard to loans borrowed by private school managements from banks, he urged the government to consider the issue of waiver of interest during the pandemic months.

Owing to the pandemic, children had not gone to schools/colleges since the last academic year. Many private school and college managements had not paid salaries to teachers claiming that they had not conducted classes. Many teachers who have been facing severe financial difficulties started working as wage labourers under the MGNREGA scheme and were selling fruits and vegetables, the former Chief Minister said.

Till now, there was no clarity on the payment of concessional fee by parents for the academic year 2021-22 and this led to protests by parents in front of schools in Bengaluru and other cities, he said and urged the government to issue an order fixing the amount to be paid by parents.

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