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Fee favour indeed for students in need
- Loreto Sealdah allows 160 under-privileged children to study on at old rates

Loreto Day School, Sealdah, has paved the ‘alternative’ path again. Responding to the appeals of nearly 160 parents, Sister Cyril, headmistress, Loreto Day School, has waived the enhanced tuition fees of their wards to help them continue their studies.

“After going through the appeals of the guardians, I found the income of some parents to be so low that they will not be able to bear the burden of the enhanced tuition fees. So, I allowed their wards to continue to study in the school, though they are still paying the old fees,” said Sister Cyril.

Loreto Day School, Sealdah, has nearly 1,400 students on its rolls. Fifty per cent of them, hailing from economically under-privileged families, study at the school free of cost. The 160 students who have been allowed to follow the old fee structure are among the 700 students who pay to study.

Anglo-Indian schools across the city had to hike tuition fees in the wake of the state government’s recent decision to slash dearness allowance. Sister Cyril’s decision to waive the enhanced tuition fees for a part of the student body may, however, set a precedent for other Anglo-Indian schools, many of which have had to introduce revised fee structures. Whether such schools will — or can afford to — reduce their fees, is to be seen.

At an Anglo-Indian school in Howrah, the fee hike was recently met with vehement demands for a rollback from guardians. After the school authorities refused to comply, a large number of guardians had to withdraw their wards, enrolling them in lesser-known English-medium schools of the area.

To cope with the added expense, Loreto Sealdah had increased the tuition fees from Rs 440 to Rs 740 per month. But in light of the economic duress faced by so many of its students, the school authorities requested the guardians to submit documents to justify their plea for reduced fees, with proof of their current income. The school did not re-check the information given by the guardians.

“I trust each of my students’ guardians. Those who have been given this facility need it,” said Sister Cyril, adding that none of the charitable schools would push for an unnecessary fee-hike. “We are not profit-making bodies and fee hikes are never desired by us,” she added.

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