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Private schools leave parents, teachers tormented in Rajasthan

Parents and Teachers

Jaipur, June 20 (UITV/IANS) The parents as well as teachers in Rajasthan are becoming the victims of the atrocities by private schools who are demanding increased fees from parents while leaving their teachers unpaid for last three months even when classes are being run online for students due to the lockdown.

As per the Rajasthan government's initial guideline, schools were barred from taking any fee from students for three months that is -- March 15-June 15 in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, as no other advisory has come till date, the parents are being asked to pay due fees while teachers are left with pay-cuts and non payment of salaries.

Eventually, parents in thousands are running a 'No School, no Fee' campaign in the state, while teachers working in private schools are awaiting their salaries for the last three months, fearing job loss if they complain to authorities.

On Saturday, many distressed parents gathered at Central Park in Jaipur to launch 'No School, No Fee' campaign.

Speaking to IANS, one Sunil Yadav, All Rajasthan Private School Parents Forum president, said, "Many parents gathered at Central Park and launched a 'no school, no fee' campaign today."

Expressing his annoyance for running online classes for small kids, he said, "Schools are running online classes just for the sake of collecting fees from students which should be stopped as it is harming kids' personality," he said, adding that the government, this year, should declare a zero year as there is no silver lining on normalcy returning soon.

Another parent, Meenu Goyal told IANS that the schools instead of giving waivers are in fact increasing fees which is our major concern. "I requested my kids' school to bring down the increased fee, however, they rejected the proposal," she said.

Besides parents, the school teachers are also annoyed at the working model of schools as they have not been paid from April on pretext of delayed collection of school fees despite preparing online notes and videos for students.

A school teacher from a renowned private school in Jaisalmer said, "We have not been paid right from April and most of us are now on the verge of financial collapse. All our saving is gone."

Another teacher from Jaipur school quipped at the state government, saying the MLAs are camping in five-star resort to save from poaching for Rajya Sabha polls. He said, "The state government earlier issued advisory for schools barring them from collecting fees for three months. Now, what after that? Isn't it their responsibility to make things clear? Instead of listening to our problems, they are busy spending picnic time in resort, playing cricket and listening to musical chords."

IANS contacted school education minister Govind Singh Dotasra who said that parents as well as teachers should give their complaints in writing.

He said, "There are lakhs of schools and we can't check the record of each and every school. So I request teachers to submit their complaints."

"As such there is no such guideline from the central ministry for declaring zero year. However, we will take the matter with the CM and chalk out the next guideline," he added.

Meanwhile, Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan president Damodar Prasad Goyal told IANS, "We agree there is a serious deadlock which can be resolved with mutual trust, respect and dialogue between parents and teachers. While parents are ready to deposit fees with some cut, teachers are also ready to get a salary cut to keep their earnings going. However, declaring a zero year will be detrimental to education, children as well as the nation and hence it should not be announced," he said.