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Coronavirus outbreak: Private schools in Punjab requested to offer 20pc fee discount

By Our Correspondent
April 01, 2020

LAHORE: At a time when majority of the private schools have already issued monthly fee challan to students to deposit fee despite closure of educational institutions owing to coronavirus pandemic, the Punjab government has requested private schools to offer a 20 percent concession in fees to students.

In this regard, a meeting of government officials and representatives of private schools was held here Tuesday. Punjab Schools Minister Dr Murad Raas, Law Minister Basharat Raja, Secretary Schools and representatives of different private schools attended the meeting.

The Punjab government has sought suggestions from private schools owners in 48 hours in a bid to give relief to the students in form of discounted fees.

It is pertinent to mention that the government has announced closure of education institutions until May 31 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus. The government has also directed the institutions to treat the closure as summer vacation—which usually starts from June 1 in Punjab.

In the meeting, the government also requested the private schools not to collect lump sum fee for the period of closure April and May and charge 80 percent fee instead. It also requested private schools not to fire any of its staff, including teachers and pay full salaries to the staff during this period.

Talking to The News, a number of parents said that the government should have taken the matter seriously and had directed the private schools to reduce the fee by at least 50 percent if it could not force the schools to waive off complete fee.

Awais, a father of two, said the school his daughter was going to, kept sending messages to deposit the fee at the earliest.

He said that the government should ensure that the schools do not force parents to deposit full fee and also not in lump sum because of the prevailing situation. Another citizen, Amir, said private schools used to earn throughout the year and now when the schools were closed they should not charge fee at all rather they should support the government in its fight against coronavirus. He added that private schools could do so by paying full salaries to their staff and by not firing any of its staff during these testing times. Meanwhile, the School Education Department Punjab has also recommended to the government to promote all students of public schools from Class 1 to Class 8 to next grades on the basis of submission of homework which has yet to be shared with the students.

The News could not reach Secretary School Education Department Punjab Sheheryar Sultan despite repeated attempts on his cell phone.