A city school has decided to provide monetary aid, by reducing the fees, to some of the students whose families are under financial stress because of the Covid pandemic.
The Cambridge School has asked guardians to apply for the aid, recognising the fact that the “devastating effects of the pandemic still continue to affect some”.
An official of the school said the aid would be extended to 10 students for nine months, from July 2022 to March 2023.
“You are aware that the waiver on fees for the pandemic period will expire on 30th June 2022… in order to make it easier for the hardest-hit parents and guardians to continue with the education of their children at TCS (The Cambridge School), the school has made provision within its very limited means to provide financial aid by way of reduction of fees for the ten (10) most deserving students of the school in a fair, transparent, rules-based manner,” wrote the financial aid team of the school to guardians in an email.
“...the financial aid will be provided solely on the basis of financial exigency and will not be related to academic merit,” the mail says.
The mail clarifies that merit-based scholarships will be awarded this year, like during pre-pandemic times, if examinations can be held in-person.
“The financial aid will be substantial enough to make a difference to parents. We have given a relaxation of a quarter to parents and not raised the fee in the new session in April. We are raising it only in July,” said Sarojesh Mukerjee, director, The Cambridge School.
Guardians who want the aid will have to apply by May 31 and mention details such as the current family income, family income two years back and the financial condition for which they are seeking the help.
“The financial aid, even if granted, will lapse automatically if the school is directed by any applicable legal authority to reduce fees in the event of resurgence of Covid or for any other reason,” the email from the school’s financial aid team says.
The school has said the “judgement of the school in selecting the ten (10) most deserving candidates for financial aid will be both final and confidential”.
During the last two years many parents had faced financial difficulties because of the pandemic and many schools had provided them with waivers depending on their financial situation. Many parents suffered pay cuts or losses in businesses.
“Over the past two years, parents had applied for concessions because of various reasons like salary cuts or retrenchment,” a school official said.
“There were parents who were in the travel and hospitality industry and some of them had to pull their children out of our school,” Mukerjee said.
“The school as much as possible gave them concessions and extension of deadlines (for payment of fees) but still some of them could not continue.”
The school announced a 10 per cent fee hike, compared with the 2018 fees, in April. The enhanced fees will be effective from July.