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Srinagar: The government is mulling to order all private schools of Jammu and Kashmir to slash the accrued tuition fee from March to September 2020 by 30 per cent.

Principal Secretary School Education, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon stated so in a tweet he posted Friday evening.

“in view of recent judgements of High courts of Madras & Rajasthan; Govt may direct private schools to reduce tuition fees of students by 30 %  in view of closure of schools due to covid 19 lockdown for March to Sept 2020; views of parents & management solicited (sic),” he tweeted.

On September 7, the Rajasthan High Court directed the school authorities to allow students deposit only 70% of the tuition fees.

“This court by an interim measure and till the situation gets normalized directs the school authorities to allow the students to continue their studies online and allow them to deposit 70% of the tuition fees element from the total fees being charged for the year,” read the orders of justice SP Sharma.

It added: “The said 70% of the tuition fees shall be paid for the period from March 2020 in three instalments to the respective schools. However, it is made clear that on non payment of the said fees, the student(s) may not be allowed to join online classes, but shall not be expelled from the school. The three instalments shall be fixed by depositing the first instalment on or before September 30,2020 while the second instalment shall be paid by November 30, 2020, and the third instalment shall be paid by January 31, 2021.”

 Back in July, the Madras High Court too directed unaided private educational institutions in Tamil Nadu to collect in two instalments 75 percent of the tuition fees paid in the previous academic year, for 2020-21.

“While 40 percent of the tution fee can be collected as advance on or before August 31, the balance can be paid within two months, starting from the date of reopening of the institutions,” the court had said.

 There is a continuous demand from parents that they are not able to pay the tuition fee during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The parents cite dire financial conditions brought in by the pandemic as the reasons of them not being able to clear the dues.

Most business sectors have run into heavy losses due to closure and lockdowns since March this year as the pandemic raged on crossing 50,000 cases in J&K by Friday.

While private schools are managing by conducting online classes on a weak internet connection (as high-speed remains barred in almost all of J&K since Aug last year), the parents say that the online simulation is now way comparable to an actual classroom and as such schools cannot demand the fee.  

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A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

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