West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee on Thursday warned private schools in the state against hiking their fees during the ongoing lockdown. The lockdown which started on March 24 midnight to contain Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) will last till May 3. As the commercial establishments and businesses are closed due to lockdown, many people are facing economic hardships.
Chatterjee in his Facebook post wrote, “The private schools have been informed twice already that they cannot increase their fees right now. They should not stop any student from joining online classes if they are unable to pay the fees and instead should allow everyone to join the classes.”
“The state government has taken a strong stand on this. We hope that the private schools will abstain from creating mental pressure on parents about fee-related matters and will act according to the government instructions,” he added.
Chatterjee had earlier said that if the schools do not comply with government instructions, then their no-objection certificates (NOC) may be cancelled.
The state government had earlier requested private schools against increasing fees, keeping in mind the economic hardship that many are facing right now.
The state education department had sent letters to private schools in this regard. But complaints against increasing fees didn’t stop even after that. The department sent another letter to the schools on April 23 asking for clarifications in the fee-related matter.