Students are not added to WhatsApp groups and schools are making it clear that they won’t be allowed into virtual classrooms.
“Dear Parents, unless you clear the pending fee dues of the previous year, your child will not be admitted to the next class. A gentle reminder to all those who have to pay the pending school fee. The school office is opened from 6.45 am to 9.30 am on all working days. Kindly do the needful and render your cooperation,” read a message from a school in Secunderabad.
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Another private school in Himayat Nagar sent out a similar message asking parents to clear fee dues immediately. “Do the needful so that the expenses such as taxes, staff salaries, and utility bills can be cleared. Kindly avail of the online facility for payment of fees,” read the message from the school.
Parents said that class WhatsApp groups, which had over 40 students during the last academic year, now hardly has 20 to 25 members as class teachers were instructed only to add those who cleared fee into these groups.
Teachers too confirmed that they have received oral instructions asking them to include only those students without fee dues into the nominal rolls of the next class. “We were asked not to add defaulters to groups or allow them into virtual classrooms,” said a teacher of class 8, working at a corporate school in the city.
According to teachers, about 30% of students of corporate schools and 50% of students in budget schools are yet to clear last year’s fee.
The members of the Telangana Recognised School Management Association (TRSMA) also made it clear that they are not going to promote fee defaulters. “Irrespective of whether a student attended online classes or not, they will have to clear the fee. Only then, they will be promoted or issued a transfer certificate. If needed, we are even ready to organise bridge course for a couple of months to brush up last year’s concepts,” said Shekhar Rao Y, president, TRSMA, adding that about 80% of students studying budget schools have fee dues from last year.