In a major relief forstudents and their guardians, Odisha government has announcedreduction of tuition fees in all aided and unaided privateschools for the 2020-2021 academic session in wake of theprevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The School and Mass Education department in anotification issued on Tuesday said that the tuition feereduction will be made in seven different slabs. While therewill be no waiver for schools charging Rs 6,000 per annum,those charging between Rs 6,001 to Rs 12,001 will reduce thetuition fee by 7.5 per cent.
Twelve per cent reduction for tuition fees between Rs12,001 and Rs 24, 000 annually, 15 per cent for fees betweenRs 24,001 to Rs 48,000, 20 per cent for school tuition fees ofRs 48,001 to Rs 72,000, 25 per cent for Rs 72,001 to Rs 1 lakhfees and 26 per cent for fees above Rs 1 lakh per annum, thenotification said.
This apart, schools cannot charge students for foodand transport. However, a 30 per cent waiver will be given onhostel fees, the notification said.
The state government action came based on a High Courtdirective which asked the government to reduce the fees in allaided and unaided private schools for the 2020-21 academicsession in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope that the aided and unaided private schoolswill abide by the court order,” School and Mass Educationminister SR Dash told reporters.
Earlier, several parents associations had gone to theHigh Court after the state government and the schools refusedto reduce the fees even as schools remained closed due to thepandemic. Responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL),the state government had informed the High Court that it hadno power to regulate fees fixed by private schools.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier this monthannounced waiver of examination fees of Class 10 students, whowould appear at the board examinations in 2021. The decisionwould benefit six lakh students. The government would bear Rs27 crore towards the exemption, Patnaik had said in astatement.
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