The Odisha government has announced a reduction in the tuition fees for the 2020-2021 academic session in all the private schools to help the parents and guardians of the students to manage education expenses amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The School and Mass Education department said in a notification that any private school in the state that is charging between ₹6,001 to ₹12,001 on an annual basis will have to reduce the tuition fee by 7.5 per cent. For the schools charging between ₹12,001 and ₹24,000, 12 per cent reduction has been decided. As much as 15 per cent will be reduced in the schools charging between ₹24,001 to ₹48,000, 20 per cent in the schools charging between ₹48,001 to ₹72,000, 25 per cent in the schools charging ₹72,001 to ₹1 lakh fees and 26 per cent in the schools charging above ₹1 lakh per annum.

Add to this, no school can charge students for food and transport. Those living in schools hostels will be given a 30 per cent waiver in the hostel fees.

Earlier, High Court had directed the state government to reduce the tuition fees in all the private schools for the upcoming academic session.

“We hope that the aided and unaided private schools will abide by the court order,” School and Mass Education minister SR Dash told reporters.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced a waiver of board examination fees for the Class 10 students. As many as six lakh students will appear for the examination this year. With this waiver, the government would bear an exemption of ₹27 crore.