English | Dzongkha Friday, October 30, 2020

Some parents not ready to pay the school fees alleging that the service is not worth it

Oct 16, 2020

Some parents of children studying in Etho Metho Primary School in Thimphu did not pay the second term tuition fees yet. The parents said they did not pay the fees because the service provided was not worth the fee structure. The school gave a 15 per cent concession on the second term tuition fees.

“Compared to the service provided, the fee structure is high. We need to get more than 15 per cent concession because the school campus is closed. And except for the teachers’ salary, no other payments should be made. So we the parents are willing to pay for the teachers’ salary. But we cannot pay for the schools’ profit and other expenditure,” said Dawa, a parent.

They said the school did not discuss with all the parents on the 15 % concession.

And they also said the learning is through e-learning whereby the facilities in the school is not utilized and online education is rather a source of frustration for both parents and children.

“If you look at the 15 per cent concession, first of all, we have no idea how they have come to that conclusion for deciding at 15 per cent. And secondly, the amount of work, the effort or teaching methodology that is put into helping our child to rightful education is not at all justifiable,” said Karma Choden, a parent.

“We, parents are not saying we will not pay the fee but we are willing to pay according to the services provided. After conducting the meeting, we requested the school twice or thrice. But since the school did not have any innovations or ideas, we are yet to pay the fee,” added Chencho, also a parent.

However, the school management said there are 266 students in the school and more than half of the students paid the fees. And those who did not pay the fees are mostly from the pre-primary grades. Whereas the parents from the pre-primary grades shared disgruntlement with the process of forming a parents’ representative at the school.

“First of all, we have no idea how they chose the parents’ representatives. We have no idea who they are. And then if you look at it, some are from class III and some from VI. My child is in class I, there is nobody who is representing the parents from class I. That is actually a bias on the school’s part to choose the people in whatever process they have adapted. That is one of the things that is not working fine with us,” Karma Choden.

“Since they are not accepting, we approached the Education Ministry. But we are yet to receive a clear response from the ministry. There are about 150 parents and some half of them did not pay the fees yet. Some are Kidu recipient and some of their businesses are affected so we the parents have no problem if the school looks into such issues and acts accordingly,” added Dawa.

The proprietor refused to comment.

Meanwhile, the school management said the school has been providing the service to students even if the parents did not pay the fees yet. The school said even if the school did not announce publicly that it will explore means if the parents are laid off due to the pandemic, parents should have approached the school. Only two parents came forward till now and the school is looking into the matter.

However, according to the Private Schools Association of Bhutan, the association met with all private primary schools and endorsed that 15 per cent of the term II fees can be waived off indiscriminately. The association said the Education Ministry already indicated that the ministry is not going to intervene between private schools and parents regarding tuition fees.

Tshering Zam

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