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Apeejay schools go the extra yard to provide a healing touch to those affected by the pandemic

With a long and rich legacy of philanthropy, the group is lending a helping hand to students in completing their studies. The sentiment finds resonance with parents as well as educationists.

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Apeejay institutions provide a number of options to families who are unable to pay their school fees in these tough times. These include deferment of fees for an agreed period, fee remission programmes, reduced payments over a set period of time and even a total fee waiver for students from families that have lost earning members.

Ritu Mehta, Principal, Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, says students’ interest is always of prime importance. “During the pandemic, our primary concern was that students’ education should not suffer. We were the first ones to begin online classes. We encourage parents to have open discussions with us if they are facing any hardships. I have a list of around 13 parents who are yet to pay last year’s fees, but their children are attending classes.”

Veena Goel, Principal, Apeejay School Pitampura, concurs, “Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia (Co-Promoter and President, Apeejay Stya and Svran Group), is always empathetic towards families facing hardships due to Covid and scholarships and waivers have been provided. Parents have been requested to approach the Principal and discuss their (financial) condition. We have intimated the management about many such cases and the management has always taken a considerate view of the situation. You hear about many schools barring students from online classes over non-payment of fees, but not Apeejay. In fact, I recently met a parent who lost her husband due to Covid. Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia waived the entire fees of both the children studying in our school,” she recalls.

This is a popular sentiment that finds resonance with a number of parents across Apeejay educational institutions.

Rajiv Kumar, a parent, who is associated with Apeejay School, Pitampura, for 13 years, said he has never come across a case where a student was not allowed to attend online classes owing to non-payment of fees. “My son is studying in class 12, while my daughter is in class 8. Both have been studying in the school since nursery and I can say with conviction that in all these years, I’ve never come across a student who has been barred from any class due to non-payment or late fees.”

In fact, the Apeejay schools go the extra yard to be empathetic to those facing financial difficulties during the pandemic. AK Sharma, Principal, Apeejay School, Noida, explains, “Many parents faced financial difficulties during the pandemic and we extended our full support to them. Their children took the exams and were promoted to the next classes. I recall the case of a student whose parents didn’t pay fees for more than a year. But we went ahead and promoted the student to the next class.”

Dr Sarita Pandey, Principal, Apeejay International School, Greater Noida, elaborates, “I have students who are in class 12 and have not paid fees for more than two years. The school hasn’t stopped them from attending classes or sitting in exams. In fact, one of my teachers even paid the board exam registration fee for a student.”

With their first-mover-advantage in deployment of technology and a visionary management, parents are happy with the way Apeejay schools were quick to adapt to online classes as soon as the pandemic compelled a nationwide lockdown.

“Within a week of the announcement of lockdown, online classes were started. The principal conducted direct interactions with parents and students for suggestions so that the students don’t suffer. Since the very beginning, teachers encouraged students to keep their videos on to make the classes more interactive and give them the feel of a real classroom. Soft copies of books were made available for students who couldn’t buy them due to lockdown. A big thanks to the school and teachers for their dedication to make the students feel as normal as possible in the new normal,” said Anuj Agarwal (45), owner of a pharmaceutical company. Agarwal’s daughters, Yashwi and Shivi, are studying in class 11 and 8, respectively, at Apeejay School, Noida.

“The pandemic affected the entire world. There was no profession that remained untouched during the Corona crisis. It was really challenging for schools to ensure that students remained in touch with studies, but Apeejay School, Pitampura, not only started online lessons seamlessly, but planned numerous activities that kept the whole family involved,” adds Rajan Dua, an entrepreneur, whose son is studying in Apeejay School, Pitampura.

(With inputs from Chayyanika Nigam)

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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