Parents of children studying in aided schools and self-financing colleges in Tamil Nadu have alleged that the institutions’ managements were over-charging fees even during the Covid pandemic.

Talking to IANS, R. Sathyamoorthy, parent of Bavya Lakshmi, a Class 10 student of a private aided school in Salem, said: “School authorities are charging heavy fees and there seems to be no regulatory mechanism in place. The district educational officers feigned helplessness when we complain. The school is good and we want to continue her studies there but they are charging Rs 10,000 as first term fee and this is a government-aided school. I came to know that in some other places in Salem district itself, the fee is Rs 17,500. This is indeed extracting money from hapless parents.”

CBSE private schools are charging according to their whims and fancies and are making children sit outside the classrooms if they do not pay the fee on time, parents allege.

Sreeranjini, mother of Niranjana S.R., a Class 11 student of a CBSE school in Chennai, told IANS: “The authorities are not at all understanding our problems. School is asking us to pay Rs 45,000 now. They said that it was a fee but according to our understanding, it was Rs 16,000 per term… The school now is saying that the extra Rs 29,000 is an extra caution deposit for the laboratory. We are both private company employees and are not immediately able to cough up this much money but school authorities won’t listen and made our daughter sit outside the class along with her classmates whose parents were not able to pay.”

As schools reopen in Tamil Nadu after the pandemic, this is a common scenario and only places, names, and schools change.

Contacted for a response, the office of School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said that they have received some complaints and have specifically called up these schools for an explanation.

Talking to IANS, Tamil Nadu state CBSE School Association Secretary S. Thirumoorthy said: “We are collecting fee after Supreme Court ordered CBSE schools to collect the fee. In some schools for the science stream, they may be taking caution deposit which is generally refundable. School managements are not fleecing money from the students and are just collecting the dues also in some cases.”

He, however, agreed that the school managements should not make the students sit outside the class for non-payment of fee and said that such complaints would be looked into and taken up before the association.

The Special Officer for Tamil Nadu Private Schools Fee Determination committee said that the parents can check on the school fees of their children on www.tnfeecommittee.com.

Aided colleges in Tamil Nadu are regulated under the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges Regulation Act, 1976, and can collect fees prescribed by the government only.

The self-financing colleges are again allegedly collecting huge fees and several parents have already lodged complaints with the office of the Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister as well as the state Directorate of Collegiate Education.

–IANS

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