Appeal comes after both sides targeted govt.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar has appealed to managements of private schools as well as parents to arrive at a common ground over the contentious issue of payment of fees. This comes amidst protests by both parents and private schools, with both accusing the government of siding with the other.
Parents, many of whom are finding it difficult to pay school fees on account of job losses or salary cuts, have been asking for a reprieve. A section of schools, however, have threatened to stop online classes until the fees are paid.
In a long Facebook post, Mr. Kumar said he has recently directed private school managements to hold meetings with parents and chalk out a solution that is acceptable to both sides.
“Parents are so keen to admit their children in particular private schools, even though they charge hefty fees. But now many have lost jobs and are suffering salary cuts and it is natural to expect rebates in the fee, especially given there have been no physical classes. At the same time, it is also true that several ‘budget schools’ are struggling to pay salaries for teachers. There have been reports of teachers taking to sell vegetables and even as labour in the State. I understand the concerns of both sides. Since the parents and schools enjoy a good relationship, they can arrive at a middle ground,” he said in the post.
He suggested that each school hold meetings with parents, listen to their side and come clean on their financial position as well.
“If schools take a stand that they will take enough fees only to meet the administrative expenses and parents also understand they need to support the teachers, a solution is possible to this impasse,” Mr. Kumar reasoned.