Gautam Deb asks schools not to hike fees
Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb held a meeting with representatives of 55 private English medium schools located in and around Siliguri on Tuesday and elaborated on the orders issued by the state education department with regard to the fees charged by these institutions.
The meeting was held as guardians of the city had been making posts in social media for the past few weeks, mentioning that some schools were charging higher fees while others were not waiving even a portion of the transport charges for the lockdown period.
“All schools have been requested not to increase their fees for the 2020-21 academic year. We have found that some schools had increased their fees but after the state government came up with a notice, they revoked their decision and will charge old fees,” Deb said after the meeting.
The schools, he said, should also consider the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown had left a negative impact on the economy.
“In the current situation, some guardians might not be able to pay school fees on time. We want the schools to provide time to such guardians to pay the fees. Those present at the meeting have said they will consider this issue,” the minister said.
Deb said the state had not taken any decision on transport charges. The guardians have pointed out that as buses are off the roads, the schools should waive the fuel and maintenance charges.
“I will talk to the state education minister on this issue and we will see that it is also resolved,” he said.
A section of schools, which are members of the West Bengal Unaided CBSE Schools’ Association, had already taken decisions on certain issues, said its secretary Vijay Shah.
“We have decided not to revise the fees for the academic year and lower the bus fees up to 33 per cent for the first quarter. Our member schools have been asked to take a lenient and soft stand towards allowing reasonable time to pay school fees,” Shah said.