Karnataka Private Schools’ Threat To Stop Online Classes Averted For Now
Private school management bodies in Karnataka say that non-payment of fees is making it difficult for the schools to run. The schools had threatened to completely stop online classes from Monday.
Online education during the pandemic has been proving to be a huge challenge - and not just for students and their parents. Private school management bodies in Karnataka say that non-payment of fees is making it difficult for the schools to run. The schools had threatened to completely stop online classes from Monday.
A meeting held between private school management associations and the commissioner of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has averted that - at least for now.
V Anbu Kumar, DPI Commissioner, told NDTV, “I had a meeting with the management bodies of private schools in Karnataka. They have conveyed certain grievances regarding payment of fees, pending fees from parents. As of now, they have agreed to continue with online classes without stopping on November 30. I am thankful to the managements for cooperating. And I assure them that their grievances will be conveyed to the government.”
D. Shashi Kumar. General Secretary, KAMS, the Associated Managements of English Medium Schools In Karnataka, said the schools were under huge pressure and needed clarity on fees. “He (Anbu Kumar) heard us very patiently and practically. We demand the government to clarify on the fees. We only have issue with those who have not admitted the children this year and whose last year’s fees are pending. Then, there are parents who have admitted by paying a part of the fees but have not participated in online classes. This amounts to violation because minimum attendance is required for a student be it in online class or offline class. So, parents need to understand that.”
Anbu Kumar said, “It is true that the management is demanding that we issue a circular regarding the fee structure and this we will be discussing at the government level.”
For now, private schools say they will continue online classes.
Mr Shashi Kumar said, “As of now we have deferred it. (stopping classes) We are waiting for a good response from the government. After that we will take a collective decision. They have to safeguard our interests. RTE reimbursement has to be done. We have purchased textbooks but they are lying in the godowns. They have not been collected by the parents. Even the parents have to take the responsibility of continued learning for the child.”
Professor V R N Reddy, President, Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association, KUSMA, told NDTV, “We requested the parents to pay the fees. If they don’t pay the fees we can’t even pay the salaries of the staff. Electricity, water - we cannot pay that. That is why we appealed to them to pay the fee within 15 days, otherwise we need to take the action. We never stopped the classes. Management is generous. If they don’t pay within 25 days, we will review again.”
The Karnataka government has announced that schools will not open for physical classes in the state at least until the end of December.