Private schools demand free Covid-19 test for teachers, relaxation on electricity bills, taxes, loans

AMBALA: In a press conference held in Ambala on Friday, Kulbhushan Sharma, president of NISA (National Independent Schools’ Alliance) and Federation of Private Schools Welfare Association, Haryana, said that the government has already allowed students from Class IX to XII to attend the schools, and now Classes from VI to VII are also being planned to open which is an appreciable move.

The Federation and NISA welcome this, but they demanded from the government, especially health, home minister Anil Vij, that the Covid-19 test, which costs Rs 1,200, shall be made free for the private school teachers just like government school teachers because most of these private schools have received less than 5% fees and they have 25 to 50% fees due from the last year as well.

Sharma said these schools are unable to bear the cost of the Covid-19 test for its teachers.

Ashutosh Gaur, senior vice-president, Ambala, said, “The private schools are closed since March, but they are still getting electricity bills on an average basis. Due to the non-payment of fees by the students, most of the schools are incapable of paying the electricity bills. The government should charge the bill based on actual consumption of electrical power by the schools during the lockdown period.”

Sharma demanded from the government to give relief on passenger tax, electricity bill, and tax on other items that have not been used by the schools lately.

“This will keep the schools from becoming financially unstable and make sure that they run smoothly. In most of the rural area schools, children are brought to the schools in buses, and during the lockdown, these schools have suffered the most. If such schools are not given needful relief, they will get ruined and would not be able to continue with providing education in rural areas”, said Sharma.

Federation’s secretary Gyanendra Saini said, “The government should also keep the installments on private school buses and other loan installments pending till next year, and should not charge interest for non-payment of installments or include their names in the defaulters’ list.”

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