In India with the recent publishing of operating procedures for schools by the central government with regards to the reopening of schools, private schools have come forward with the introduction of covid fees.
This fee is introduced considering the increased housekeeping charges of the school towards frequent disinfection of school premises and to follow the entire operating procedure ordered by the central government. The operating procedures include a deep cleaning of school premises, sanitization of buildings, setting up of markers for social distancing, usage of thermal scanners, sanitization stations at entry points of schools, etc. This takes a huge responsibility on the private schools and they have come forward with a special fee – “Covid Fees”.
The introduction of Covid Fees carries its own advantages and disadvantages. This article lists down the positive and negative aspects of covid fees in schools.
Advantage of COVID Fees in School – School’s Improved Responsibility
Ensuring the safety of students by strictly following the operating procedure is a huge responsibility of schools. Accepting a fee towards the same makes the schools accountable.
Many schools have openly shared their concerns regarding the possible increase in housekeeping charges due to frequent disinfection of school premises. Along with this, schools will have to purchase thermal scanners/cameras and other related equipment. This is a capital expenditure for schools. Schools have claimed that even though the maintenance fees are increasing much fold, the covid fee they plan to charge is less than the cost. The plan is to charge Rs.150 to Rs.250 per student per month.
From the school’s point of view, this is a genuine expenditure to cover the costs of their increased responsibility.
From a parent’s point of view, this is an unnecessary introduction as many parents are struggling to pay or haven’t paid the existing school fees itself.
This delay from parents to pay the usual school fees on time is putting pressure on the school as they have to pay the salaries and other normal expenses related to running a school.
Disadvantage of COVID Fees in School
As seen above, some parents are not welcoming the idea of covid fees as they see it as the responsibility of the school to keep up with the government orders. Schools can’t charge parents towards the compliance measures set up by the central government. The capital expenditure schools are making is towards safety in the present crisis as well as for the future. It is the default responsibility of a school to take care of the safety of its students. Schools already spent huge money on these activities. So a slight increase in the same should not create a new fee to be paid by parents. This opposition from parents can induce friction that can create issues in the school.
We can also foresee that there will be many benefits to schools by following the operating procedure set up by the central government. It is listed below.
Advantages to schools by following the operating procedures
- Safety of students from non-covid diseases
The improved sanitation of the schools will have multiple health benefits on students. They will be safe not only from the spread of covid, but also from other diseases that can spread through air and human contact. It will also improve the hygiene habits of students and administrative staff. The thermal scanners and cameras placed at the entry points can detect normal fever and will lead to students falling ill less often. Healthy students will perform better academically. This will lead to improved performance by the school in the geography and ecosystem.
- Sanitation habit for teachers and administrative staff
This is an indirect benefit for following the operating procedure setup by the central government. Private schools employ a lot of administrative staff like security, housekeeping, bus drivers, etc. With the school enforcing hygiene standards, all staff including teachers and administrative staff will follow the best hygiene practices. This will indirectly benefit their homes also. The hygiene habits once picked up will stay with them forever.
In this article we have seen the different point of views for the covid fees planning to be introduced by private schools in India. We will have to wait and see how the parents and government accept this and how it finally becomes a rule to be followed.