School fees in 6700-odd private schools across Odisha will be reduced for the lockdown period after a joint committee including state government officials, school authorities and parents submitted a report in Orissa High Court proposing a reduction of school fee by 26%.
The recommendation of the committee in this regard came after a suggestion by Odisha High Court early this month requesting the secretary of state school and mass education department to convene a joint meeting of representatives of parents, teachers and private school and resolve the fee hike issue.
Since April at least 3 PILs consisting one by All Odisha Parents Association have been filed prior to Orissa High Court who wish to complete exemption of tuition fees by private schools amid this lockdown as the state government had announced Covid-19 pandemic a disaster.
According to the committee’s recommendation, there must not be any fee reduction in schools charging up to Rs 6,000 every year. Although it recommended a reduction of 7.5 per cent for schools charging fee between Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000 per annum, it was 15 per cent and 20 per cent fee cut in schools charging Rs 24,000-Rs 48,000 and Rs 48,000-Rs 72,000 per annum, respectively.
For educational institutions charging between Rs 72,000 and Rs 100,000, the committee has advised 25 per cent cut in fee, with 26 per cent fee reduction in schools charging more than Rs 100,000 per year.
Thus, the division bench of the Orissa High Court that is hearing the matter has reserved its judgement after concluding the hearing.
In the month of April, Odisha government has asked the private schools to reduce or defer the school fees from April to June to help the parents whose incomes were adversely affected because of the lockdown.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed schools to be sympathetic while dealing with school fees.