Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday released a notification stating that all the aided and unaided private institutions will reduce school fees in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation and as demanded by parents’ bodies across the State.

As per reports, the waiver may be done under seven slabs- 26 per cent waiver of school fees for annual fees above Rs 1 lakh per annum, 25 per cent for the fee range between Rs 72,001 and Rs 1 lakh per annum, 20 per cent for school fees from Rs 48,001 to Rs 72,000, 15 per cent for school fees from Rs 24,001 to Rs 48,000, 12 per cent for school fees from Rs 12,001 to Rs 24,000 and 7.5 per cent for school fees from Rs 6,001 and Rs 12,000 per annum.

Besides, no school can take exorbitant food and transport fee from parents.

The Orissa High Court on January 7, said that the recommendations on reduction of school fees made by the court-ordered high-level committee would be final and anyone having objections against the suggestions by the panel can file writ petition on the matter.

The committee was formed by the HC to resolve the issue after the State government sought not to interfere in the administrative decisions of private schools by maintaining that they were beyond the purview of government control.

Later, 'in deference to the HC's directions, meetings were held with the stake holders by the Principal Secretary to Government, School and Mass Education Department and an MoU was entered into on 10.09.2020 and the said MoU was filed in the Hon'ble High Court of Orissa for kind consideration'.

"We welcome the move of the State government. We had been demanding fee waiver since long. It's like a victory of parents across the State," said Basudev Bhatt, president of the Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangh.