International schools ripping us off, charge parents
Protest held against Gampaha Lyceum
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Parents of students who study at international schools have alleged that an educational mafia is operating in international schools amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and that some international schools have turned the pandemic into a money-making venture.
Commenting on this when contacted by The Morning, Gampaha Lyceum International School Parents’ Association President Prasad Kaluthanthri said that although all government and private schools are closed due to the prevailing situation and teaching is done online, the Lyceum International School still charges its students the term fees in full amounts, as usual.
He also claimed that the school is still charging fees for all facilities, including laboratories and libraries, even though the schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Schools are closed these days, thereby saving money they have to spend on electricity and water bills. In such a situation, it is unfair to charge students as usual. We have made several requests from the management in this regard since the early days of the spread of Covid-19, but we have not been given a solution so far,” he said.
Kaluthanthri further claimed that although the usual fees are charged from students, only the basic salary is paid to teachers. According to him, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris have also been informed, in writing, regarding the issue. He said that in the face of the current pandemic situation, parents have spent extra on providing online education to their children, adding that the Education Ministry should therefore intervene and find a solution.
The Gampaha Lyceum International School Parents’ Association had also organised a protest against the school’s management on 25 June in Gampaha.
Attempts to contact one of the Lyceum International School network’s Directors, Mohan Lal Grero were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, when queried as to whether the Education Ministry has prepared any programme to resolve such issues that have arisen in international schools, Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera told The Morning that no such programme has been prepared thus far.
“We shall see if there is a possibility for the Ministry to intervene and solve such issues,” he added.