Following reports that several private colleges, including technical institutions across the State, have started pressurising students to make fee payments, the Tamil Nadu government has urged the management of the institutions to work out various alternative payment options to ease pressure on parents.
“As per instruction from the University Grants Commission (UGC), universities and colleges in the State have been advised to make plans for the new academic session, taking into consideration the views of students, parents and other stakeholders concerned,” a senior official from the Higher Education Department told DT Next. According to him, the fee payment options include the monthly collection, arranging of loans for the parents and giving specific moratorium time.
Pointing out that the government has instructed the institutions to set up a helpline and a dedicated email ID to clear doubts and address other concerns of the students arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the official said: “Further, on the existing grievance portal, students can take up specific issues arising out of COVID-19 situation.”
“All these are being monitored by a State-level committee, set up to look into such concerns and grievances and address them appropriately,” he said adding “we have received several petitions from students and parents stating that universities and colleges are pressurising them to make immediate payments of annual, semester, tuition, examination fee, among others”.
The official said that since some of the parents have expressed their inability to make payments due to lockdown, the universities and colleges have been asked to consider individual requests regarding fee payment, keeping in mind the present situation.