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Mumbai: Malvani school principal waives fees of 1,000 students

12:38 AM Jul 26, 2021 | Staff Reporter

Amid the ongoing pandemic in which many parents are facing problems to pay the school fees of their kids, the principal of Holy Star English Medium School in Malvani has waived fees of 1,000 students. He also gave concessions up to 15 to 20 per cent to some of the students so that they can continue with their studies.

Hussain Shaikh, 35, who is also the founder and trustee of the school, said there are 1,500 students and their annual fees are Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 per student till Class 7, and up to Rs 10,000 till Class 10. Several parents could not pay the fees of their kids as most of them lost their jobs due to Covid.

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“When I came to know that parents of about 1,000 students are not in touch with the school, I reached out to the students to know the reason. I understood that they had not paid the fees for the last year (2020-2021) owing to financial issues,” he said.

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Shaikh further said that due to financial issues, several parents decided to stop their students from getting further studies, following which they held a meeting with the school administration and teachers to come up with some solutions.

“I discussed this issue with our teachers and we decided to waive the fees of needy students for the whole year. Whatever I am today is because of the community. The school will survive only if the students and their parents survive,” he added.

Shaikh said the remaining 500 students were given high concessions on the fees so that their parents could afford their education. The principal said he got in touch with the needy parents and provided them with ration kits. “Our objective was to ensure that no one went to sleep with an empty stomach,” he said.

“In this slum colony, most people are daily wagers and have a hand-to-mouth existence, with no savings. Covid-19 and lockdowns have worsened their condition. Many have preferred to return to their villages, jeopardising the future of their children,” Shaikh said.

“Since the school is situated in an area with underprivileged families, many parents drop in every 10 to 15 days seeking financial help. During the first lockdown, I used my savings of Rs 8 lakh, which I had set aside for the higher studies of my newborn daughter, to help the community members in one way or another,” Shaikh said.

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