What is it about big and famous institutions that students would look in awe of? A great course, well-experienced faculty, a vast library, a lot of extensive study material, a capacious campus, and a friendly hostel, these are all a given. But the one aspect that can make an institution stand out is empathy.
This is especially crucial in a crisis. The global impact of Covid-19 has had its repercussions on the health and monetary status of families everywhere. Now more than ever, colleges and schools are expected to display a sense of compassion.
What have some educational institutes been upto?
In a display of a total lack of perception of the students’ dilemma, another institute has acted purely on its own gains.
Following Amity University, Lucknow University, and Punjab University, now the management of Anil Surendra Modi School of Commerce(ASMSOC) – Which is part of the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management(NMIMS) has emailed its students, demanding the payment of Rs 2,74,000 as college fees in a single installment all at once, failing which they will have to cough up Rs 100 per day as penalty.
Is the demand legitimate?
This demand for fees by ASMSOC has come despite the University Grants Commission (UGC) – the higher education regulator – issuing guidelines for colleges (both public and private) against demanding fees at the moment, and consider “alternative payment options”.
The UGC secretary’s directive to colleges and universities reads: “It is requested, that in view of the prevailing extraordinary difficult circumstances, universities and colleges may consider the matter regarding payment of annual / semester fees, tuition fees, examination fees, etc. sympathetically and if feasible, may consider offering alternative payment options to students till situation returns to normal.”
How did the students react to this?
The desolate students have written to the administration asking for concessions citing the lockdown. However, the administration, according to the students, has stood unmoved so far. The students would be more comfortable paying such an extortionate sum in instalments rather than pay it all in one shot.
The students said that they were not insensitive to the college’s requirements to begin the next semester, but they felt that exacting this enormous sum from their parents was nothing short of a highway robbery when the family is battling a monetary drain during this economic meltdown.
The college could instead split the fees into four instalments and collect the same at the commencement of each semester, the students expressed.
The fee structure is already enormous in private colleges, according to the students. Moreover, as the college is saving on power and water bills as the classes are conducted online, they ought to offer a concession in the fees.
How do the students now plan to proceed?
The students regretted that failing any supportive action from the college authorities in the form of some relief in the fee structure, they may be forced to quit this institution and pursue their studies elsewhere, where it might prove more favourable to them.
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Source: The Live Wire