Srinagar, May 20: Private schools asking the parents to deposit the fee of their children amidst lockdown has evoked sharp criticism from different sections of the society. However, owners of these private institutions have pleaded that they have to pay salaries to their staff members and they cannot be left in lurch.
One of the renowned private schools in Kashmir has slashed the fee by Rs 1000/ per student and has asked the students to clear their dues as soon as possible. “We have been paying tuition and transportation fee since August 5, 2019, despite our children not attending their schools,” parents told Precious Kashmir over phone.
They said, “If we try to seek any concession, the school management tell us bluntly that if we cannot afford to pay the fee then we can get our children admitted in some other school.”
The parent said, “The private school owners since August 5, 2019, have created a notion that as if private sector in Kashmir is only confined to schools only. Rest others are government employees or have got enough money to sustain. It seems someone needs to tell these players that post August 5 every sector has witnessed a recession and people are working on half salaries. They always playing a victim card is not always going to help them.”
An owner of a private school said, “There are 56000 teachers working in different private schools across Kashmir. They have got families and we have to pay them. We know that people in Kashmir have been facing severe crisis for the past nine months and economy has been hit badly. We had decided that only tuition fee will be charged for the lockdown months. If any school is making parents remit all the charges then it’s unfortunate.”
Another parent said that when schools reopened in march this year for a few days, the schools made the parents pay printing and other charges through their nose and ensured that all dues of students are cleared before them being promoted to another class. “Private schools can work an instalment option for the parents. They can ask them to clear the dues in piecemeals after the situation becomes normal. They should stop dictating terms and understand that everyone is in a mess and it will take time for situation to get normalized,” he added.
Another parent said, “We raising hue and cry has never helped us at the end we have to follow what these institutions ask us to do.”