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Keeping Staff Unpaid, Colleges Force Students to Pay Full Fees

Many of such colleges have either paid 50% of salaries or not at all to their staff during the lockdown

Sunday January 10, 2021 11:27 AM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

College Fees during lockdown

Mumbai: Hundreds of students in Maharashtra are scrambling for help as their colleges are refusing to allow them sit in regular classes and approve their exam forms unless they pay the full fees.

This is happening despite many of such colleges are keeping their staff – teaching and non-teaching both, unpaid and without salaries ever since they were asked to shut in March last following the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The engineering college where my son is a student organised online lectures only 2-3 days during the lockdown. These lectures were irregular, lacked quality, and the teachers too struggled to adjust to the new teaching method”, Sujata (name changed) a parent told ummid.com asking not to disclose the name of the college fearing consequences.

“We wrote to the principal and the college management a number of times. But we neither received any response nor we saw any improvement”, she added.

“However when the regular classes were allowed, the college staffers started insisting for the full payment of fees”, she said.

"No Fees, No Exam"

Sujata is not alone who is being exploited by the extortionist nature of the colleges. Another parent while talking to ummid.com said the college where his daughter is enrolled refused to approve her exam form unless the full fee is paid.

“I pleaded with the clerk saying I am without work since last eight months and can’t pay the full fees at this moment. I was ready to pay 50% of the total fees. But, the clerk did not budge”, he said.

“To my repeated pleas, the clerk had just one response - the management has decided not to allow any student sit in the exams unless he or she pays the full fees”, he added.

"Staff without salaries"

Ironically, many of such colleges have either paid 50% of salaries or not at all to their staff during the lockdown.

“We received half of our salaries in the first three months. However, we have not been paid any salary from June to December. The first week of January has already passed and we are still to hear anything about our salaries”, a teacher said.

Interestingly, in a circular issued on March 30, the state school education department had said that private schools cannot compel parents to pay fees during the lockdown. The Higher and Technical Education Department of the state on the hand had promised to provide relief and part fee waiver to the college students.

"I agree with the students and parents regarding the fees. Discussions are underway on how to implement it. The department will make a decision in the next few days,’’ Maharashtra Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant had said in August.

Ummid.com tried to speak to the concerned departments in Pune University and Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE) to which these colleges are affiliated. To the query regarding the government guidelines on the fees of students during the pandemic, Pune University office refused to comment.

On the other hand, MSBTE said it had neither received nor issued any guideline or advisory regarding the students’ fees.


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