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Schools lighten the load for parents, roll back fee hikes, offer partial refund

Mumbai Education News | Schools lighten the load for parents, roll back fee hikes, offer partial refund

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With no date in sight for reopening, schools and parents across the city are trying to find a middle ground on fees. From refunding transport fees to rolling back hikes, schools say they are trying to offer the best they can. Schools which haven’t done so yet are receiving requests from parents’ groups for the same.

The Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Bandra Kurla Complex, has decided to refund bus and canteen fees for the current quarter. The school’s message to parents states, “During this time, as we offer virtual classes, your child is not availing the school transport service and the canteen snack facility. Taking this into account, the school has decided to refund the charges paid toward these services for the current quarter of 2020.”

A similar demand has been made by parents in another South Mumbai international school. In a mail to the school head, the parents said, “We are under immense pressure over the future of our jobs and/or businesses and, hence, would like to request some financial relief from your end. After keeping in mind the online format, there has been a request for a portion of the current tuition and/or additional variable costs to be carried forward to the next term.” The school, in its reply, has said it was looking at ways to address the concerns. Variable costs for a quarter at several international schools range upward of Rs 40,000.

At the Children’s Academy Group of Schools, the management has decided to roll ack the fee hike. “We understand that the parents also might be going through a difficult period financially and, hence, have decided to roll back the fee hike for at least six months. We have also allowed parents to pay at their own pace, if required. However, if this continues, the school might have trouble paying salaries to its teachers and staff,” said trustee, Rohan Bhatt.

The Maharashtra English School Trustees Association has written to the education department to withdraw its circular asking schools not to collect fees during the lockdown.

While most schools are receiving requests for fee deferment, several parents are willing to pay fees until they can afford to. “The efforts the teachers and school are putting into teaching the kids is phenomenal. My child is learning everything from football to keyboard through online classes. So as long as we can, we would be willing to support the school,” said the mother of class III student at an international school in the suburbs.

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