Non-teaching staff, teachers accuse managements of leaving them in lurch in COVID times
Srinagar, July 6: The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Monday put a lid over the controversy surrounding the payment fee during the lockdown period to the private schools across the Union Territory.
An official spokesman in a statement asked the parents to pay the tuition fee only and not to get misled by the campaign being run by a few elements. “The administration has sent a clear message to the parents that they have to pay the tuition fee and schools won’t charge any other fee,” said an analyst.
He said, “This has ended the debate over whether the parents have to pay the tuition fee or not during the lockdown period. Parents whose salaries have not been cut or who have not lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 lockdown will have to clear their dues to enable their wards to carry on with their studies in the private schools.”
The analyst said, “The managements of private schools should follow the directions passed by the government in letter and spirit and they should ensure that no other fee is charged except the tuition fee. There are reports that private schools are asking parents to pay the bus fee and other miscellaneous charges. The government should ensure that private schools should not dictate terms to the parents during these testing times.”
A Srinagar based news agency KNT reported that despite private schools demanding fee from parents the managements of these institutions are allegedly threatening to terminate services of non-teaching staff. Over 30 drivers of a reputed private school in Srinagar staged a protest outside the school gate here alleging that school management is denying salaries to them and has even threatened them to terminate their services. “When we demand salaries, we are being asked to show the attendance of the lockdown period. Wherefrom we will get the attendance when government had enforced lockdown in wake of COVID-19 pandemic,” the news agency quoted drivers as having said.
In the recent past teachers of a few private schools had also accused the managements of “sending them on forced leave” and leaving them in lurch during the testing times. “If these schools are so keen about collecting the tuition fee then they should also ensure that they don’t lay off their staff. They should release their salaries forthwith. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the lockdown in March this year, he had urged the private players not to lay off their staff. By reliving teachers and other non-teaching staff the private schools are setting a wrong precedence and the government should take a note of it,” said an observer.