By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 7 Jul: Since the period of the Lockdown, schools have been facing problems related to the payment of fees.
In Uttarakhand, on 22 June, the Education Secretary, Minakshi Sundaram passed the following order:
1. Only Tuition fees can be charged. Schools that are conducting extra classes/subjects may charge fees for those classes.
2. Those parents who are not able to pay fees due to financial problems may seek an extension of time for payment by requesting the Principal or Management. The Principal or Management should deal with the issue in a compassionate manner.
3. The tuition fee shall not be revised or increased for the academic year 2020-2021.
4. The directions shall apply to day boarding and boarding Schools accordingly.
Earlier orders on have become ineffective.
On 3 July, the High Court upheld the Government Order and stated:
1. Only Private Schools which are conducting online virtual classes are permitted during the subsistence of this lockdown to charge only tuition fee.
No other fee will be charged but where some schools are teaching an extra subject online or virtually, in that case the School teaching that extra subject can charge tuition fees as has been prescribed before.
2. That even after benefitting from the online / virtual mode of teaching, if a parent is unable to pay the tuition fees then he or she shall inform in detail the reasons for non-payment to the Principal and administrative office and shall be granted additional time for due payment of tuition fees.
For non-payment of tuition fees, no student shall be expelled from School.
3. Due to the Coronavirus infection and during the duration of the resultant lockdown, every government/ semi government officer/ employees benefitting from online / virtual modes of teaching shall pay the tuition fee on time.
4. During the Academic Year 2020-2021, no Private School shall increase the fee in any circumstances.
At the Supreme Court hearing held on the 6 July, both, SLPs were disposed of as they had become infructuous in light of subsequent developments.
Therefore, liberty was granted to withdraw both the SLPs and to approach the High Court against the 22 June notification issued by the Secretary of Education, Government of India if required.
Since the lockdown began and notifications have been sent to schools it is unfortunate that the truth is not being presented accurately, school managements assert.
In fact, to the contrary, just the opposite of what has been said is being presented.
These are very troubled times for Schools, Teachers and Students, nationwide. Schools in various states have completely shut down.Teachers have lost their jobs and it is the children that are suffering.