Parents of students studying in Vibgyor School in Bengaluru’s Horamavu have alleged that the school has hiked the fee while the state government has asked schools not to hike fees this year. Further, a circular has been sent to parents threatening that their children’s enrollment will be discontinued if they fail to pay school fees within a certain period of time.

This the parents say is in contravention of a circular issued by the state government.

A part of the communique (Circular No VH43-CIRNO2489) dated July 1 to the parents by the Vibgyor School principal which was shared by a parent reads, “For the small number of parents who have NOT yet paid any fee for this academic year, it will be assumed that you are no longer interested in your ward continuing to study at our school. As a consequence, we will initiate the de-enrolment process for your ward from 13th July 2020, for the academic year 2020-21. In case you still wish to continue, we request you to pay up the dues immediately.”

A school representative refused to comment, and said that issues related to fees will be dealt by the school management directly with the parents if there is a concern.

A front office representative of the school told TNM, “Anything related to the fees, we can address the parents directly. Whichever parents you are contacting, you can reiterate to them that we are meeting them in person and we are able to convince them. With relation to this, if we need to get back to them, we will address that.”

It is also not clear if the school has made any concessions for students whose parents are unable to pay the present fees due to the economic distress caused by the pandemic.

A circular dated April 28 issued by the Department of Public Instruction concerning this had asked schools not to increase the fees by the normal 15% every year citing financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The department had subsequently launched a helpline and complaint window program over the same issue. According to reports, close to 1,000 complaints were registered by the end of May.

Another note issued by the department on May 19 stated that schools can collect fees only from willing parents and cannot increase the fee that was charged last year and they should make concessionary arrangements for parents who have been economically affected.

“Despite the clear instructions from the government, the school has increased fees saying that the fee for the next class will be obviously higher than the previous grade. I am made to pay Rs 68,000 more from last year,” Pramod Prabhakar, one agrrevied parent said.

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