The West Bengal government will issue reminders to private schools that have not responded favourably to the state education minister’s request for not hiking fees in view of the COVID-19 triggered lockdown, a senior school education department official said on Saturday.
The reminder notice would also be sent to schools that are seeking money from guardians under heads such as development fee or stationary fee, the official said.
Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had on April 8 appealed to all private schools not to increase fees saying his department had received several complaints from guardians over fee hikes during this crisis.
The school education department issued a notification in this regard two days later.
“It is unfortunate that authorities of some private unaided schools affiliated to various boards have not only hiked their fees but also put pressure on guardians to pay during the lockdown period,” the notification said.
It also asked those schools to refrain from effecting any decision to hike fees considering the case of those guardians who would find it difficult to pay the existing fee during the ongoing lockdown.
The official said a few private schools in past one week have announced putting on hold the decision to raise fees, but several others have increased it and insisted that guardians pay the new fee by net banking within a stipulated period.
“Some of the institutes which did not increase fees are asking the guardians to pay a specific amount of money under categories like development fee or stationary fee by May, though the schools will remain closed till June 10. We are keeping a tab on all these developments and also got feedback from many guardians. We will send the schools concerned another reminder, if required. Then we will think about future action with the power vested on us,” he said.
The official refused to name the schools saying it would not be proper.