Mr Chief Minister - are public schools in Rajasthan any different? How can they refuse to abide by government orders?

Mr Chief Minister - are public schools in Rajasthan any different? How can they refuse to abide by government orders?

Why are private schools and convent institutions making such a noise on non-payment of fees and cancelling all classes indefinitely – where has their ethics gone? What sort of an example are they setting for their students? Why are the students made to bear the burden of the greed of schools and bias of the parents?

Mr Chief Minister - are public schools in Rajasthan any different? How can they refuse to abide by government orders?
With less than 5 months to go for the Board examinations of Classes X and XII, social responsibility and ethics of the schools (a.k.a Education Institutions) gone for a toss – pressure and adverse times brings out the real character and separates the men from the boys.

The recent dictate of private and convent schools in Rajasthan to indefinitely terminate online classes for their students has put the very character of these institutes in bad light.  Those who are suffering are simply the salaried teachers and the larger brunt will be borne by the students, who have no idea of what has hit them and how this will affect their future. This comes after the Rajasthan government ordered the schools to cut down their TUITION fees by 30% (for CBSE schools) and 40% (for RBSE schools) on October 28.

“The CBSE reduced the school syllabus from Class 9 to 12 by 30 per cent, therefore their school tuition fees should be reduced by 30 per cent. At the same time, the Rajasthan Board has reduced the syllabus by 40 per cent, so they should reduce the fee by 40 per cent.” – Government Order

Court orders, strikes, teachers forums, school forums government orders – all of this is not what pedagogy is all about; this is not what imparting education is all about.

Recent media reports, highlighting the cost structures of schools (utility bills only) and access to real estate on exorbitantly reduced rates shows that some sections of the media is up in arms against these private and convent run institutions. These schools, which “teach” Moral Science and teach the children ethics – is it all a cover up to the actual essence of their motive – run a business empire and forget all about ethics and their duty to the students who have handed over their future to these ”educational institutes”?

A note to the parents amidst all this schools bashing...

In the midst all of this flak on the ‘irresponsible behavior’ of private and convent schools - where does the responsibility of the parents lie? Why are they not paying the reduced tuition fees when the decision was given by the court – why is the government not in a position to be strict with the schools?

The schools took up the onus to shift to online teaching immediately at the beginning of the pandemic and the teachers have been struggling day and night to prepare lectures for their students in the form that they have not done earlier. The teachers have not been paid salaries on time or are being paid reduced salaries or even being asked to forego their services.

In the present scenario, when my child is susceptible to health risks, and a company called SCHOOL is catering its services online, enabling kids to avail it, in his /her cozy comfort safe zone. WHY DO I FUSS.? (Moreover when courts had already announced certain fee deduction). Aren't the employees in corporate field being paid for work from home? Education is an inseparable part of students’ live's and had this service been disrupted in past 6-7 months, children would have gone been detached from their learning regime. Schools' online teaching facility has enabled students to adapt to the new and inevitable changes exposing them to various exciting challenges. Had these classes discontinued they would have turned into passive students. Announcement of online classes by schools, at the onset made teachers apprehensive. Nevertheless, they took up the challenge, learning technical skills through limited available resources and time, without any professional training. Techno-naive turned themselves techno-savvy. They prepared themselves without hampering students learning process and school functioning. It takes every ounce of energy and guts to prepare and present lessons on a new platform and make it attention gripping through visual treats. Sadly, we humans don't value available bounties till we are deprived of them.” – Abida Khaker, Parent

Parents need to understand that if they are paying for food and clothing even in such times – they also need to pay the cost for their child’s education. The schools are using this excuse to blatantly forego their responsibilities – because they are not willing to dig into their rich reserves and pay their teachers in these times of need. Teachers have families to feed too and schools should ensure that they are paid their rightful dues – the parents need to ensure that they also pay up the fees rather than go to court pleading for something that is unwarranted.

We have paid the fees on time before 30 September as directed by the court and some parents have also paid in advance – why are our children made to take this burden now” – Narendra Goswami, parent.

An argument saying that people have lost their jobs and are taking loans to pay their children’s fees cannot be generalized. If they are able to pay for food, clothes and basic necessities, they have to arrange for the minimal fees… else the private and convent schools will easily get away with crime – the crime of not being able to fulfill the continuing learning needs of students who have been paying their exorbitant fees over many years. It is possible that schools look into the request of parents who are really struggling – a subjective approach can be taken, rather than shut down teaching.

Question to a parent - Is there a social responsibility that schools need to adhere too?

Only schools have responsibilities towards the society and not visa versa? It's an organization that provides services through their employees and other resources and in turn pay all for the same. Many engaged in these institutions are the only bread winners and we can't expect them to run a Charity centre. Both parties to this case need to be flexible rather than bringing it to a standstill.

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