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Guardians in disarray as govt yet to decide on tuition fees

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Syed Shemul Parvez :
Most of the parents of middle and lower-middle-income families of Dhaka city have been worried regarding the payment of tuition fees of their children as Covid-19 pandemic situation made them helpless financially.
Sources said that many private schools of the capital city have been accused of creating financial pressure on the parents to pay the arrear tuition fees of their children ahead of a government order about the promotion of students to the next grade.
Many people either had seen a pay cut, or lost jobs or incurred losses in their businesses due to the coronavirus crisis.

In this situation, guardians fear schools might not promote their children if they fail to clear the fees in full.
Mohammad Rony Ahmed, a resident of Lalbagh said that I lost my job in April because of covid-19 outbreak across the country. Nowadays I am totally helpless.
I don't have any more income source. I have two school going daughters. They are students of city's West End High School.
After six months, school started online classes and exams with pressure to pay the fees of last six months what we couldn't do because of countrywide lockdown for covid-19 pandemic situation, Rony added.
Sumiya Khatun, guardian of another student, said 'We are from low-middle class family. We had small business in the area but at present our business has been closed completely because of coronavirous outbreak.
My son is a student of class six. The School began its online classes and exams recently. In this situation school put pressure on us to pay the previous six months pay to attend and for promotion.  
Meanwhile, School authorities have denied the allegation labelled against them. They said 'We are just telling the parents to clear the fees as we have to pay the teacher's salary and keep the institutions on run.
When asked, Aron Kanti Biswas, Head Teacher of West End High School of the city said that they allowed all students to participate in the examination in a particular way.
But they have to pay at least two months full fees as we have to pay the salary of teachers. And they will pay remaining fees step by step as covid-19 pandemic damaged their income sources, Head teacher added.
Shahan Ara Begum, Principal of Motijheel Ideal School and College, claims that they did not put any pressure on guardians to pay tuition fees. She also said that this private educational institution was paying teachers their salaries regularly.
"Tuition fees are our only source of income. We have to run the institution. How will we do it if the guardians do not pay?" she asked.
Prof Syed Golam Faruk, Director General of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, told the media that they are yet to take any decision about it.
Mahbub Hossain, Secretary (Secondary and Higher Education division) of the education ministry, told media recently that the ministry had a plan to issue a circular in this regard.
It is mentionable that financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to send their families to village homes and get his son admitted to a school there. But the School authority declined to issue a transfer certificate without full payment of tuition fees since March.
Meanwhile, many private educational institutions are dependent only on tuition fees that they get from their students. But due to the coronavirus crisis, they are not getting the tuition fees.
As a result, many teachers have left the profession as the schools and colleges cannot pay their salaries.
Earlier the government announced the closure of all schools and educational institutions in the country on March 17 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It cannot be said for certain as to when the institutions will reopen.
In these circumstances, many schools have been conducting online classes and exams amid the pandemic.'

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