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Education Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Private School Fees Likely To Be Reduced

Bhubaneswar: The fees of private schools in Odisha are likely to be cut up to 26 per cent. A joint Committee comprising Government officials, representatives of schools and parents has recommended a reduction in school fees in its report to the Orissa High Court.

The High Court on September 1 had asked the Odisha Government to take an initiative and mediate between the parents’ associations and private school authorities and resolve the row over school fee hike.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq had asked the Principal Secretary of the School and Mass Education Department to conduct a joint meeting of the representatives of parents, teachers and private schools to resolve the fee hike issue mutually.

The joint committee reportedly recommended reduction of school fees in seven different slabs. It stated there should not be any fee reduction in schools charging up to Rs 6,000 annually.

A reduction of 7.5 per cent fee has been recommended for schools charging fee between Rs 6,001 and Rs 12,000 per annum. The committee has recommended 15 per cent fee cut for schools charging Rs 24,001 to Rs 48,000 annually.

Similarly, for schools charging Rs 48,001 to Rs 72,000 per annum, the Committee has recommended a fee cut of 20 per cent, said sources.

For private schools in Odisha charging between Rs 72,001 and Rs 1 lakh per annum, the committee has recommended 25 per cent cut in fee. For schools charging more than Rs 1 lakh per year, the Committee has recommended 26 per cent reduction in school fees, sources added.

The petitioners had also sought a complete exemption of the tuition fee by the private schools during the lockdown period citing that the State Government has declared the COVID-19 pandemic as a disaster.

While the Orissa High Court has completed hearing the PIL today, the verdict has been reserved.

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