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Some private schools refund excess fee, others go silent
Members of Parent-Teacher Association and social activists in Central Chennai who had petitioned the office of Chief Minister MK Stalin seeking reduction and regulation in school fees are enthralled as a couple of private schools have sent circulars to the parents informing them about the refund of excessive fees.
Last month DT Next had carried a detailed news item on how some private schools were collecting full fees from the parents who are economically hit by the coronavirus lockdown. Maharishi Vidya Mandir in Chetpet is one such school that has decided to refund AC class maintenance and repair charges for the students along with the slashed term fees. The school had informed the parents to collect the DD along with textbooks and has slashed the fees to government prescribed 75 per cent. When contacted, school principal Harbi Babu said that the management has decided to refund the AC and maintenance charges and the fees are also reduced as per the government instruction. The parents can either adjust the fees for future payments or take a refund if they are shifting their children from our school, the principal said.
The fee structure which was earlier full term is now part term, the principal said. However, several schools in Central and South Chennai that are mulling to reopen by next month remain tight-lipped on slashing the fees as prescribed by the state government and Madras High Court. “We will wait for some more days giving time for the schools to refund or regulate the fees and complaints will be lodged against schools that fleece parents,” said social activist V Sathiabalan. Soon we will also take up the issue and submit petitions to the higher education ministry against engineering colleges that are collecting transport fees up to Rs 40,000 per year. These higher education institutes are collecting transport fees for a term when no college was kept open for students, Sathiabalan said. Already the issue has been taken up by Congress Trade Union state president N Bhuvaneswari Nanjappan and we will reach out to MLAs and Ministers, he added.