Action sought against schools stopping classes over non-payment of fees
Parents stage protest; association says all schools affiliated to it will halt classes
Parents of children studying in private schools took to the streets on Sunday to protest the decision of some school managements to stop online classes over non-payment of fees. The same day, the Recognised Unaided Private Schools Association (RUPSA), Karnataka, announced that it would stop online classes in all schools affiliated to it over delays in payment of fees.
At the protest organised by Voice of Parents, families demanded that the government take legal action against private schools that restricted online classes for children and demanded a 75% reduction in tuition fee. Their other demands included the government not issuing any order to collect second-term fees, and legal action against schools allegedly collecting money from students admitted under the RTE Act.
In a statement on the protests, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar had created differences among parents and school managements to cover up their failures. “Private schools have been blackmailing parents who have been forced to pay fees and online classes have also been stopped. The government has no control and the Education Minister is blind to this development. Private schools, which are collecting tuition fee, laboratory fee, library fee, and non-academic charges, are not scared of the government,” he said, and added that the government should convene a meeting of private school managements and parents to clear the confusion.”
Meanwhile, RUPSA’s State president Lokesh Talikatte claimed that the association represented over 12,000 ‘budget schools’ across the State. He said the decision to not conduct online classes was taken in protest against the government favouring “corporate schools”. “We have not collected more than 30% fees for the current academic year and the government has now said we should not collect admission fees for the next academic year. We have, for months, been demanding the government to fix school fees,” he said.
However, the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, which has over 3,800 schools affiliated to it, said online classes would continue