The Karnataka Education department has issued show-cause notices to as many as 164 schools in Bengaluru for violating government orders by increasing fees for the upcoming academic year. In a circular issued on April 28, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) had prohibited private school managements from increasing tuition fees by the usual 15 per cent. The DPI had cited the financial crisis experienced by families in the wake of the coronavirus-induced lockdown then.
Most complaints, DPI data showed, were against schools in Bengaluru South — 782 against 117 institutions, followed by Bengaluru North — 113 complaints pertaining to 45 schools. Six complaints were filed by parents against two schools in Bengaluru Rural.
The Karnataka government had set up a central helpline number for parents to report the same after concerns were raised over schools charging more thereby violating a government order.
“We began initiating action against violators by sending show-cause notices to private school managements after verifying complaints raised to us via the central helpline number and otherwise. On receiving the notices, most schools have rolled back their decision to charge extra,” Bengaluru South Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) S Rajendra told vsmcomm.com
He added that the process is still underway and the concerned Block Education Officers (BEOs) are taking cognisance of the matter and are ensuring private managements adhere to the government order.
Another official from the education department said almost half of a total of 901 complaints registered so far have been resolved. “As many as 442 such complaints have been resolved so far as on May 21 morning. Our officers are working hard to resolve everything as soon as possible,” the official added.
Meanwhile, D Shashikumar, general secretary of the Karnataka Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools (KAMS) said that most schools are adhering to the instructions put forth by the government considering the ongoing pandemic-related crisis.
“However, insisting parents pay inflated fees is arbitrary as only a few schools are creating such a menace. While we support government action against those, the government should also respect the fact that the hike in school fee on a yearly basis is essential to cover the added expenses each management is burdened with as well,” he said.
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