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Parents Start Online Petition against School Fee Hike to HRD Ministry.

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Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments have announced that schools should not force parents to pay fees during the lockdown.

While parents are waiting for a school fee waiver during the lockdown due to the corona virus outbreak in the country, several schools have announced a fee hike adding to their woes.

Parents have started an online petition to the HRD Ministry demanding a directive to schools to not implement a fee hike this academic session at least till schools reopen.

While the Gujarat government had on Monday announced that private schools will not hike fees for a year, the West Bengal government had appealed schools to refrain from hiking fees. However, no clear instructions have been issued on fee hike in Delhi-NCR.

“With no information when normalcy will return, when we could head back to our respective workplace is the question that remains unanswered and here, I receive an intimation from the school regarding the hike in fee. I was baffled how would I be able to cope up? I am anxious to know about the school fee hike and transport fee hike which the school says is to meet the cost demands for the academic year 2020-21,” said Pivit Joshi, whose son studies in a prominent school in Noida. He did not wish to identify the name of the school.

Jagriti Shukla, a parent in Gurgaon, said, “We understand the schools’ concern that they need to pay salaries and cannot waive fees but at least hike can be avoided at such crucial time. Why the government has not passed any order in this regard?”

“We are getting basic pay but the performance-linked incentives have been suspended for the lockdown period. The appraisals have been deferred to next financial year but the school’s fee hike is going on as per usual,” he said.

The schools were closed by mid-March, ahead of the nationwide lockdown announcement due to the spread of corona virus. The 21-day lockdown, which was scheduled to end today, has now been extended till May 3. However, several schools have already begun teaching and learning activities online.

Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments have announced that schools should not force parents to pay fees during the lockdown. However, there is no clarity among parents about whether no fees will be charged during the period or they will have to be paid later.

While the Delhi government has not issued any directive about any possible fees waiver, the private schools in Delhi are supposed to get clearances on fee hike from the government’s fee review management committee.

The death toll due to corona virus infection in the country rose to 339 while the number of cases soared to 10,363 on Tuesday, said the Union health ministry.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 8,988, as many as 1,035 people have been cured and discharged and one had migrated, it said.

Education

CBSE to reduce syllabus for Classes 9 to 12 by 30%, says HRD Minister.

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Taking into consideration the ongoing corona virus pandemic a and the lockdown imposed in the country, the Center on Tuesday decided to rationalize the syllabus for students of Class 9 to Class 12 studying in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board for the academic year 2020-21. Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Union cabinet minister for Human Resource Development tweeted, “Looking at the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country and the world, #CBSE was advised to revise the curriculum and reduce course load for the students of Class 9th to 12th.”

He also informed that a few weeks ago, he had invited suggestions regarding the reduction of the syllabus from educationists and experts and that the Center received more than 1,500 responses. “Considering the importance of learning achievement, it has been decided to rationalize syllabus up to 30 per cent by retaining the core concepts,” he tweeted.
The CBSE also issued a statement regarding the matter which noted that the prevailing health emergency in the country and at different parts of the world as well as the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the loss of classroom teaching due to closure of schools.
Therefore the Board has decided to revise the syllabus for Classes 9 to 12 for the academic session 2020-21. The changes made in the syllabus have been finalized by the respective Course Committees with the approval of the Curriculum Committee and Governing Body of the Board,” the statement read.

It further stated that the heads of the schools and teachers must ensure that the topics that have been reduced are also explained to the students to the extent required to connect different topics. “However, the reduced syllabus will not be a part of the topics for Internal Assessment and year-end Board Examination,” it said.

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