The Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government announced the reduction of tuition fees in all govt-aided and unaided private schools for the academic session 2020-2021. The decision comes amid several media reports highlighting the plight of the parents and guardians economically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per India Today, the state's education department issued a notification on the order on Tuesday, January 19. The notification stated that the fee reduction will be carried out in seven different slabs. There will be no waiver for schools charging ₹6,000 per annum while those charging between ₹6,001 to ₹12,001 will reduce the tuition fee by 7.5%.
A 12% reduction has been fixed for tuition fees between ₹12,001 and ₹24,000 annually; 15% for fees between ₹24,001 to ₹48,000, 20% for tuition fees of ₹48,001 to ₹72,000, 25% for ₹72,001 to ₹1 lakh fees and 26% for fees above ₹1 lakh per annum, according to the notification.
It further added that schools cannot charge the students for food and transport services. A 30% waiver has also been stipulated on hostel fees.
The paper reported that a High Court directive had asked the state government to take necessary and timely measures to reduce the school fees in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Several parents' associations approached the civil court after the state government and the schools refused to reduce the fees even as schools remained closed due to the pandemic. Responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the state government had informed the High Court that it had no power to regulate fees fixed by private schools.