Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Sunday said most parents of the school children studying in private schools are in financial distress following the denial of the school administration to grant them favorable fee reduction.
While expressing concern over the plight of parents, Party’s Additional Spokesperson Sarah Hayat Shah said that various noted schools are flagrantly pressurizing parents to submit all dues failing which they are being told that the annual results of their wards would be withheld. “It is highly unbecoming of these schools to charge exorbitantly from the parents, most of who are reeling under economic stress due to the all-pervading economic slump down and salary cuts. The tactics, the privately run school administration is employing is pure intimidation. It goes without saying that the schools have remained shut for nearly one and a half years now; the entire sector has been hard hit since august 5th 2020. The successive clampdown and COVID-19 induced lock down has brought all economic activities in J&K, particularly Kashmir to a grinding halt. How is it possible for salaried classes to reimburse fees, capitation charges and other allied charges due to school, given the fact that there has been no academic activity for all most two years now,” she said.
“Barring a few weeks, Kashmir has been under lockdown since august last year, which has created a major economic crisis. The wards of daily wagers, shopkeepers, transporters, street vendors are at the receiving end and have regrettably face the brunt. Denying students access to their results is unknown in an emancipated world. It is not expected from the school administration. Such imprudent measure reeks of extortion and intimidation,” she said.
She also said that the privately run schools of the valley in a notification had maintained that the fee is to be deposited only by government employees and those who can afford it. The direction to charge only children of government employees and financially sound parents during COVID-19 induced crises and previous clampdown had been notified by various private run schools. “I am not blind to the difficulties faced by the private school administration. The schools have been at the receiving end and are obliged to provide for the staff salaries, electricity bills, water supply bills and other expenses. But the schools can sometimes do away with the unnecessary expenses for some time to ensure that it is not heavy on the pockets of parents,” she said.
She said the situation demands that the school administration discuss the modalities with the respective parents and work out a favorable fee reduction plan for ensuing year as well impending dues from previous months. “Meanwhile the concerned government departments should act and ensure no child is denied of education on account of his failure to submit fees. The coercive tactics need to be checked ,” she added.