The government has asked all non-government secondary schools not to collect re-admission, development, assignment, tiffin, laboratory, library, and magazine fees from students during Covid-19 pandemic.
In a circular, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), yesterday also said school authorities should adjust the amounts with monthly tuition fees if they had taken it already.
If the Covid-19 situation does not improve by the beginning of 2021, schools will not be allowed to collect the fees from students, the circular read.
DSHE Director Belal Hossain told The Daily Star, “This will reduce some financial burden on guardians. We have issued the circular keeping many things in mind.
“Most of these fees are collected from students while they enroll at the beginning of academic years. That is why we asked them [school authorities] to adjust with monthly tuition fees [if they had taken it already].”
In person classes have been closed since March 17 and the shutdown was extended till December 19 in different phases.
The DSHE circular also read that there was difference of opinions among guardians and school authorities regarding the collection of tuition fees.
Many guardians argued that the tuition fees should not be collected as they faced financial losses due to Covid-19 and no class was held, but school authorities demanded tuition fees to ensure teachers’ and other staffers’ salary as they were trying their best to continue education through distant learning programmes.
“We should be careful. If the schools are permanently closed or become ineffective, life of teachers and others staffers may fall in serious crisis,” it added.
According to the circular, the school authorities should also take it into special consideration if a guardian face serious financial crisis.
There are 19,985 non-government schools with 9,712,639 students in the country.
After the schools were closed due to Covid-19 pandemic, the government launched educational programmes on Sangsad TV for secondary students on March 29, to help them make up for the losses due to the closure of educational institutions.
It later urged all schools to hold online classes. Many of city schools started online classes ever since.