Srinagar, Sep 2: Schools in Kashmir have started enrolling fresh students despite the fact that educational institutions in the Valley have remained closed for the past one year.
The advertisements for admissions have started appearing in the local dailies and the message is being sent out that admissions are open. “Even in COVID-19 times these schools are demanding hefty admission fees. In many schools the process is going on quietly,” said a parent.
He said that every parent wants that his child should get quality education and he can go to any extent to secure admission for his/her ward. “All of us are aware about the fact that we will have to pay the admission fee and without that no school will admit our children. The capitation fee in the schools has become a norm. But the management of these institutions should realize that the last one year has been tough for every Kashmiri and most of us are facing financial crisis,” the parent said, adding that “these institutions should give some relaxation vis-à-vis paying the admission fee.”
An owner of a private school while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Parents are approaching us and want their children to be enrolled so that they can join the school as soon as the pandemic ends. The admission fee being charged by schools is nominal and I don’t think that parents should have any issues about it.”
It’s in place to mention here that since August 5, 2019 when schools were closed in Kashmir, parents have been paying the tuition fee and in some cases 50% of the bus fee also.
“Private schools have not faced much loss as their revenue collection has not declined. It’s the responsibility of these institutions to give some relaxation to the parents, who have been paying through their nose to ensure that their wards remain on rolls,” said another parent.
He said that the government should intervene and direct the schools to waive the printing charges for next year and also take nominal admission fee. “Education of children is a must but the private schools need to show some mercy towards the parents. They can’t just resort to blackmailing by stating that names of the children whose parents have not cleared the dues will be struck off. The schools that are resorting to such tactics should be dealt with sternly,” the parent said.
Despite repeated attempts Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik didn’t pick up the phone.
A query through a text message whether the DSEK has framed any policy to ask the private schools to waive the admission fee or give concession in it went unanswered as the Director didn’t respond.