Considering the financial hardship of guardians due to COVID-19 lockdown, a city school has announced reduction of fees for this academic session while some others have decided to put on hold fee hike.
A south Kolkata educational institution has effected a drastic cut in its session fee while some others said that transport charges will be halved from June. The Nava Nalanda Group of Schools said on Friday that session fee has been been slashed by 18 per cent and guardians can also pay it in six instalments.
"Among all English medium schools, our fee structure is one of the lowest in the city. But in view of the present situation, we understand the extreme hardship parents are going through. Hence, we have decided to reduce about 18 per cent of the session fee.
"Those who cannot pay the entire amount at a time will be able to pay in six instalments," he said. South Point School, one of the largest educational institutes in Asia, will not increase its tuition fee in this academic session in view of the pandemic, spokesman and trustee board member Krishna Damani said.
He said, the institution did not charge fees under heads like maintenance and electricity. "We will take 50 per cent of the original transportation fee from June and 100 per cent after normalcy returns," Damani said.
He said, with no extra-curriculur activities taking place immediately, fees related to sports and other co- curricular activities will not be taken at this juncture. "We will take a call on this issue only when participation in such projects become feasible depending on government advisory," Damani said.
The DPS, North Kolkata, has also decided against enhancing fees for the current academic session. "We have decided not to enhance the fee for the current session considering the ensuing financial crisis due to COVID-19," the school said in a notice posted on its website.
"Along with this we have also decided to waive 50 per cent of transport charges for the first quarter only," the notice said.
La Martiniere for Boys and La Martinere for Girls have decided to continue with the earlier fee structure. "We are not effecting any hike this year. If they have any difficulty, we are ready to help," Supriyo Dhar, secretary of both the schools, said.
The Ram Mohan Mission School has also not hiked fees this year, principal Sujoy Biswas said. The schools which did not effect any fee hike claimed that they took the measure on their own after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state education department asked private schools not to hike fees in the wake of the lockdown which has thrust financial pressure on the guardians. Banerjee had urged private schools not to charge fees under other heads such as library, computer lab, development and only take tution fees.
Education minister Partha Chatterjee had repeatedly asked private schools to refrain from increasing tuition fee and not charge fees under other heads in the present situation. Principals of two private schools in the city and Sodpur said, the demands of the guardians for not taking development fee, maintenance fee, transport fee and reducing tution fee was not feasible as the schools use it for paying salary to its permanent and casual staff. Sporadic protests had taken place in front of reputed English medium schools in Tollygunje, Park Circus, Dumdum, Bowbazar, Belgharia and some other areas of the city and its outskirts demanding reduction of fees.