BENGALURU: At least 76 per cent of parents in India are not ready to send their children to school till cases in their district are down to zero, or until the children are vaccinated, revealed a survey. LocalCircles, a community social media platform that helps citizens and small businesses escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions, conducted the survey.
The percentage of parents willing to send their children to school has reduced from 69 per cent to 20 per cent in four months, it said. Researchers believe schools are, thus, likely to stick to online classes in the foreseeable future.
Apart from fear of the virus, parents are plagued with the worry of increased tuition (school) fees. Online classes have begun across most of urban and semi-urban India, noted LocalCircles, which received many complaints from parents in the past 30 days, regarding increase in tuition fee despite continuation of online classes. The survey also aimed to check the efficacy of state governments to stop the increase in school fees, with education being a state subject.
With over 26,000 responses from people in 302 districts of India — 48 per cent respondents from metro or Tier-1 locations — 15,950 responded to the question of overall fee structure implemented in the year 2021-22, with 63 per cent of parents saying that schools have increased fees this year, despite classes being conducted online.
Just 1 per cent of parents said that schools reduced fees by 10-20 per cent from 2020-21, while 2 per cent said there was more than 20 per cent fee reduction. While 22 per cent of the respondents said there was no increase in fee from 2020-21, 12 per cent did not have an opinion.
State govts ineffective in regulating fees
Of 10,737 respondents surveyed, 65% of parents said their state government was inactive or ineffective in regulating increase in school fee during the pandemic
Only 6% said their state government was ‘effective’
23% said governments were ‘somewhat effective’
41% said governments were ‘ineffective’
24% said governments ‘did not take any action at all’
At least 6% of respondents did not have an opinion